Former US President Barack Obama is hosting nearly 500 people at his Martha's Vineyard mansion next weekend, defying new guidance from the CDC.
With the United States seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins said on CNN that people should avoid big parties.
"If there were 100 people, and, of course, how are you really going to be sure about people's vaccination status?" Said Collins.
However, that does not seem to discourage the Obamas from hosting a celebrity-filled party at their luxury property. The Daily Mail reports that big names plan to attend, including Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and Steven Spielberg.
The Obamas also plan to have over 200 staff members present at the party.
COVID protocols have been put in place for the party, with the Obama's requiring that all 475 confirmed guests be vaccinated and tested. The event will also take place outdoors.
A "COVID coordinator" will be on site to ensure that all sanitary procedures are followed. It remains unclear, however, if guests will have to wear masks at the event.
Martha's Vineyard saw a surge in COVID-19 cases following the Fourth of July, but is currently is not considered an area of "high" or "substantial" risk. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has, however, recommended that vaccinated people wear masks.
Despite all the precautions being taken, some are criticizing the former first family for hosting the party. It remains to be seen how well the protocols will be followed and if this party becomes a "superspreader" event.
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