Former president scaled back event because of Covid concerns
The stars were originally included in a 475-strong guest list to attend the former US president’s bash, but Obama scaled back the event in response to rising Covid cases in the country.
His spokesperson Hanna Hankins said the move to cut back on numbers was due to “the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week”, adding that Obama is “appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon”.
According to The New York Times, actor David and TV hosts Letterman and O’Brien didn’t make the cut, and neither did many former members of Obama’s White House administration.
The party, which was held this weekend at Obama’s $12m family residence in Martha’s Vineyard, was expected to be attended by Jay-Z, Beyoncé, George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
A rumour that Pearl Jam was playing was dismissed by both a band representative and Obama’s own planners. Part of a meat-free menu was being coordinated by the musician Questlove, according to Bloomberg News.
David Axelrod, a former top Obama adviser, said that guests were asked if they were vaccinated and to provide the results of a Covid-19 test close to the event.