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Barack Obama scales back big 60th birthday party over Covid



Barack Obama scales back big 60th birthday party over Covid


Former President Barack Obama has scaled back a Martha’s Vineyard 60th birthday celebration that had been planned for hundreds of people, citing renewed worries about the coronavirus.

A source told CNN earlier this week that the former President’s birthday party was initially intended to be held outside and follow all US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public health standards, including guest testing and a Covid safety coordinator on site.

Around 700 guests were scheduled to attend the former president’s house on Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island, this weekend, including Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney.

The announcement of the birthday celebration, which is expected to involve the former president’s closest friends, sparked outrage on social media, with some calling it hypocritical in light of the new guidelines on the delta variant.

However, Obama’s 60th birthday celebrations will now be limited to family and close friends.

The event was to be held at the former First Family’s estate on the island, with reports that celebrities like Steven Spielberg, as well as former administration officials and top donors, would attend.


In a statement sent to CNN on Wednesday, Hannah Hankins, an Obama spokeswoman, stated, “This outdoor event was planned months ago in accordance with all public health guidelines and with covid safeguards in place.  Due to the new spread of the delta variant over the past week, the President and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends.”

“President Obama is appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon,” Hankins added.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy earlier this week if having the party sets the “wrong example.”

Psaki said that “former President Obama has been a huge advocate of individuals getting vaccinated,” and that the CDC has issued recommendations on indoor settings “in high or substantial high zones of COVID cases.”

“This event, according to all the public reporting, is outdoors and in a moderate zone,” she said. “But in addition, there is testing requirements and other steps they are taking, which I’m sure they can outline for you in more detail.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 52 percent of the US population has not gotten the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine (CDC). For all existing variations, vaccines are very successful in preventing hospitalization and death, although vaccinated persons with so-called breakthrough infections can spread the virus. Scientists are still attempting to figure out how common infections are among persons who have been vaccinated and how likely they are to transmit the sickness to others.

Despite some conservative opposition, Obama looked to be moving through with his plans to host visitors at his 29-acre island residence.

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