Former President Barack Obama is scaling back plans to celebrate his 60th birthday this weekend in New England due to a resurgence of COVID-19. The celebration is scheduled to take place in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on Saturday; Obama’s birthday was Wednesday.
Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama originally planned a star-studded party with guests including George Clooney, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, among others. However, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the gathering was “not a good idea” now that coronavirus cases are going back up, due mainly to the more contagious Delta variant. Additionally, Dukes County – which includes Martha’s Vineyard – has been identified by the CDC as a “moderate” risk community. Last month, Martha’s Vineyard issued an indoor mask advisory.
Obama spokeswoman Hannah Hankins said in a statement: “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. He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon.”
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