Obama responds to criticism as he scales back 60th birthday party amid surge in Covid cases

<p>Barack Obama will now be celebrating the big 6-0 with a smaller party this Saturday, amid Covid cases rising</p>

Barack Obama will now be celebrating the big 6-0 with a smaller party this Saturday, amid Covid cases rising

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Former US President Barack Obama has scaled back his 60th birthday party following backlash about the timing, as Covid cases surge due to the Delta variant.

The 44th President turned 60 on August 4, and had made plans to celebrate at a large outdoor party on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard - a 29-acre estate, worth $11.45 million.

Though the birthday blowout has been thwarted with criticism over concerns it would become a super-spreader event.

As nationally, the Delta variant is now responsible for more than 82% of Covid cases across the country, while locally a CDC study shows 74% of of people infected in Cape Cod’s recent Covid outbreak last month (July 3-17) were fully vaccinated.

Hannah Hankins, a spokeswoman for Obama, confirmed the change of plans on Wednesday to Insider.

“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,” she said.

“He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon.”

There were 475 guests expected to attend the bash, including family, friends, former aides and some big A-list names. Though there were precautions in place for this.

Vaccination was a basic requirement for guests to be let in, along with a negative coronavirus test and there would even be a dedicated person to oversee that the coronavirus rules were followed, Axios reported.

President Joe Biden previously confirmed he would not be attending, but gave no mention to the public-health concerns surrounding the event before it was scaled down.

A White House spokesperson told The Hill: “While President Biden is unable to attend this weekend, he looks forward to catching up with former President Obama soon and properly welcoming him into the over 60 club.”

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