Obama slashes birthday party guest list after backlash against star-studded bash

A spokesperson for former President Barack Obama said the event was scaled back due to "the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Former President Barack Obama's 60th birthday party, which is set to take place this weekend on Martha's Vineyard, has been pared down after massive criticism of the star-studded event event that was slated to have hundreds of guests.

"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," said a spokesperson for Obama Hannah Hankins in a statement, according to CBS.

"President Obama is appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon."

Planning for the outdoor event occurred several months ago in accordance with public health guidelines, Hankins added.

One person with connections to the Obamas told Axios that the party had 475 confirmed guests, along with 200-plus staff for the occasion.

Oprah Winfrey, famed director Steven Spielberg, and actor George Clooney were slated to attend the event.

The White House said that President Joe Biden would not be able to attend.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that the administration advises "everyone to follow public health guidelines, which I know the former president, who is a huge advocate of getting vaccinated, of following the guidance of public health experts, would certainly advocate for himself as well."

All attending guests were asked to be vaccinated and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test in a timeframe before the event.

The party will take proceed at the Obama's estate in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, community transmission of coronavirus cases in Duke County where the island is located is considered "substantial."

In areas considered "substantial or high transmission," the CDC highly recommends Americans to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Obama's extensive party guest list received backlash from Republican politicians amidst growing cases of the delta variant forcing many cities and states to reinstitute mask mandates indoors.

"Democrats are imposing unscientific mask mandates while contemplating more lockdowns. Meanwhile, President Obama is hosting over 500 elites at his Marthas Vineyard mansion. If you or I did that it would be called a super-spreader event by the Democrats," said Representative Elise Stefanik, chair of the House Republican Conference.

"Typical liberal 'do as I say, not as I do.' This is what socialism looks like," she continued.

Representative Nicole Malliotakis slammed the double standard that would have occurred if Trump had remained in office.

"Just like President Obama, every American should have the right to celebrate their milestones without arbitrary government mandates and interference. We all know if this was President Trump the left would be screaming," Malliotakis told the New York Post.


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