The White House has confirmed President Joe Biden will not attend former President Barack Obama’s upcoming 60th birthday party at Martha’s Vineyard.
“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-60 club,” a White House official told reporters, according to the Washington Examiner.
The star-studded event on Wednesday is expected to include hundreds of VIP guests. According to The Hill, “It’s unclear who will be in attendance but one source said many A-listers and friends of the Obamas, including Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney, scored invites.”
A safety hazard?
The celebration has also sparked some criticism as Americans view the timing of the large gathering during the COVID-19 delta variant’s spread as a concerning health issue.
“Democrats are imposing unscientific mask mandates while contemplating more lockdowns. Meanwhile, President Obama is hosting over 500 elites at his Marthas Vineyard mansion. If you or I did that it would be called a super-spreader event by the Democrats,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), chair of the House Republican Conference, said, according to the New York Post.
“Typical liberal ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ This is what socialism looks like,” she added.
Stefanik was not alone in her criticism. Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted, “Just imagine if this party was for Trump.”
Just imagine if this party was for Trump. https://t.co/gg4wrGI4Ua
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) August 2, 2021
Those involved in the planning have noted several safety measures that have been put in place for the birthday bash.
In addition, “Martha’s Vineyard does not qualify as an area of ‘substantially-high’ risk, which was the target of the CDC recommendations,” according to Axios.
The report added, “The party will be held outdoors and all guests are asked to be vaccinated. Invitees also must submit their negative test results to a COVID-coordinator within a certain time window before the event.”
Obama’s birthday party will take place regardless of the controversy, and the former president appears to be completely unconcerned about the possibility of being accused of holding another “super-spreader” event, because even if that’s the case, he’ll enjoy shielding from most of the mainstream media.