Obama cancels star-studded 60th birthday party over Covid criticisms

Obama cancels star-studded 60th birthday party over Covid criticisms
Former president will ‘significantly scale back event’

Former President Barack Obama has cancelled his 60th birthday celebrations due to the rise in cases of the Delta coronavirus variant, The New York Times has reported.

Mr Obama had reportedly been set to throw a “big” bash to celebrate the occasion, with 475 guests, including friends, family, former aides and several celebrities slated to have been invited.

The former president received criticism for pushing ahead with the party amid a worrying rise in cases of the Delta variant across the US.

The Times reported that despite the backlash the party was still set to go ahead as planned but now the plans have been “significantly scaled back”.

“Due to the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week, the President and Ms Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.

They added: “He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon.”

The celebration was reported to take place at a mansion 7,000-foot mansion Mr Obama bought for approximately $11.75 million on an island in Massachusetts.

“They’ve been concerned about the virus from the beginning, asking invited guests if they had been vaccinated, requesting that they get a test proximate to the event,” David Axelrod, a former top advisor told the newspaper.

He continued: “But when this was planned, the situation was quite different. So they responded to the changing circumstances.”

The event was purportedly set to take place outdoors and all guests were said to be required to follow CDC public health protocols.