Obama expecting 700 to attend his 60th birthday party despite COVID

Former President Barack Obama will reportedly have nearly 700 people at his celeb-packed 60th birthday bash in Martha’s Vineyard — even as officials warn of the dangers of large gatherings during the ongoing pandemic.

The 44th commander in chief will have at least 200 staff on hand at his Massachusetts home this weekend to cater to the 475 invited guests, including Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Steven Spielberg, according to Axios and The Hill.

Pearl Jam will perform, with a local hairdresser retained to style the hair of an unidentified member of the band, Axios reported.

“It’s going to be big,” one source told The Hill of the bash for Obama, whose birthday is Wednesday.

The party will be outdoors at Obama’s $12 million, 30-acre waterfront property, the reports said.

All guests will be asked to be vaccinated and there will also be a “COVID coordinator” to ensure safety protocols are followed, Axios said.

The Obamas' Martha’s Vineyard property.
The party will be outdoors at the Obama family’s $12 million, 30-acre waterfront property on Martha’s Vineyard.

The party comes just days after health officials on the tiny island issued a mask advisory even for vaccinated people while in indoor public spaces because of rising cases of the highly contagious Delta variant, The Vineyard Gazette noted.

Martha’s Vineyard is also close to Provincetown, Massachusetts, where a spread among vaccinated people over July 4th prompted controversial new mask guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Though it doesn’t break any rules, big parties such as Obama’s do not follow the general guidelines pushed by the Biden administration.

The Obamas' Martha’s Vineyard property.
There will be a “COVID coordinator” at the event to ensure safety protocols.

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that people need to use “common sense” before having large gatherings.

“If you’re talking about a small party like I might have at my house for six or eight people who are all fully vaccinated, I do not believe, at this point, we need to put masks on to be next to each other,” Collins said.

“But if there were 100 people, and, of course, how are you really going to be sure about people’s vaccination status?” he asked.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.
Massachusetts issued a mask advisory for Martha’s Vineyard, even for vaccinated people while in indoor public spaces, because of rising cases of the Delta variant.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

“Then the dynamic changes a little bit. There will be some need for common sense there,” he said.

The White House told Axios that the current commander-in-chief will not be among the guests at his old running mate’s big day.

“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-sixty club,” a spokesperson told the outlet.

Barack Obama.
Barack Obama’s big birthday bash does not follow the general guidelines pushed by the Biden administration.

Obama has a history of big birthday blowouts. When he turned 50 in 2011, he had the likes of Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Tom Hanks and Chris Rock at a party in the White House.

Obama’s spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment from either outlet.


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