Obama Scales Back 60th Birthday Bash Amid Delta Variant Surge

Barack Obama Campaigns With Joe Biden In Michigan 3 Days Ahead Of Election

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MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Former President Barack Obama is canceling his plans for a massive 60th birthday party on Martha's Vineyard due to a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country.

The party, originally scheduled for Saturday, was expected to have hundreds of former Obama administration officials, celebrities and Democratic donors at Mr. Obama's island mansion. Attendees would have needed proof of vaccination and taken a COVID-19 test to gain entry into the event.

But with the highly contagious Delta variant causing an uptick in new COVID-19 cases recently, the bash has now been greatly scaled back.

"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 Obama spokeswoman Hannah Hankins in a statement Wednesday morning. "He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon"

Up until its cancelation, Obama’s party drew criticism after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged localities to readopt indoor mask mandates in areas with "substantial" or "high" rates of COVID-19 transmission.

Martha's Vineyard health officials last week also urged people to wear masks while indoors as the infection rate among locals had increased to "substantial" levels.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker expressed his concern for hosting such a large-scale event at a press conference Tuesday.

"We can all make our own decision about what we think is most appropriate to us," Baker said. "But even if you are vaccinated, among some of those more vulnerable populations, you should be very careful."

Some of the guests scheduled to attend the party were George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg.

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