Former President Barack Obama turns 60, although he has finally chosen to backtrack on his plans to throw a big party next weekend and hold a smaller event.
This was confirmed by the spokeswoman for ex-president Hannah Hankins in a statement published in The Washington Post newspaper , in which she explained that the decision had been made “due to the new expansion of the delta variant in the last week.”
Obama had planned to hold a big party with celebrities on Saturday in the gardens of his mansion on the exclusive island of Martha’s Vineyard, but the preparations had caused some controversy due to the increase in COVID-19 infections in the country.
Actor George Clooney, director Steven Spielberg and presenter Oprah Winfrey were among the 475 people who had received invitations to the lavish celebration , in which the rock band Pearl Jam was to play and where all the guests had to undergo a test. of covid before attending, according to US media.
In the note, Hankins indicated that this event had been planned months ago in accordance with all public recommendations to protect against the disease.
However, with the delta variant advancing , “the President and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly reduce the event to include only family and close friends,” the spokeswoman said.
Hankins added that the former president “appreciates other people’s birthday wishes from a distance and hopes to see people soon . “
Some conservative commentators had accused Obama of hypocrisy for planning such a celebration after months of asking Americans to get vaccinated and be careful during the pandemic.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki defended Obama on Monday, during whose tenure current US President Joe Biden served as vice president.
Psaki was precisely one of the first to congratulate Obama on Wednesday. She worked on the White House Communications team during her tenure.