Obama limiting birthday party to family, close friends amid COVID-19 concerns
Former President Obama is now limiting the guest list for his 60th birthday party to family and close friends amid COVID-19 concerns.
The former president's spokesperson, Hanna Hankins, told The New York Times that the Obamas will “significantly scale back” the event amid concerns of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
“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,” Hankins said. “He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon.”
The Hill first reported that the former president would be hosting a huge birthday bash on Wednesday on Martha’s Vineyard.
Aides said hundreds of guests who were initially invited would have been required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test to attend the outdoor event, and a designated coronavirus coordinator would have ensured all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state and local authorities were followed.
Several high-profile guests, including Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney, were reportedly scheduled to attend.
A White House official said Tuesday that President Biden would not be attending the party, but "looks forward to catching up with former President Obama soon and properly welcoming him into the over 60 club.”
According to CBS Boston, the CDC raised Martha’s Vineyard to a “substantial” risk of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The agency recommends people wear masks indoors in areas of “high” or “substantial transmission.”