Earlier this week we learned that Barack Obama was planning a 60th birthday bash at his multi-million dollar waterfront Martha’s Vineyard estate. It was expected to include 475 guests and at least 200 staffers. According to reports, hundreds of former Obama administration officials, Hollywood celebrities, and, of course, donors were expected to attend. It was also reported that Pearl Jam would be performing at the star-studded event, which was widely panned for being held as the Biden administration is talking about clamping down on our rights again to slow the spread of the Delta variant of COVID.
As my PJM colleague Stephen Green noted, according to the CDC’s latest guidance for large gatherings, people should instead “host a video chat party with family and friends to share in the celebration” or even hold “safely distanced drive-in or drive-through celebrations.”
Perhaps the Obamas were thinking their guests could loot and burn down his house chanting “Black lives matter!” so they could achieve that unique COVID immunity that occurs only during protests of injustice.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was unavailable for comment.
Rest assured, rather than risk being dubbed COVID superspreaders, the Obamas decided to “significantly scale” the birthday bash that was planned for Saturday.
“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,” Hannah Hankins, a spokeswoman for Obama said in a statement Wednesday morning. “He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon.”
In the wake of the backlash, former Obama adviser David Axelrod tried to do some damage control.
“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,” claimed Axelrod. “But when this was planned, the situation was quite different. So they responded to the changing circumstances.”
Even the New York Times conceded that Obama “had at first appeared eager to carry on with his plans, displaying what some viewed as a casual disregard for the optics of his birthday bash.” [Emphasis added]
You think? Obama was notorious for his narcissism, after all. He was probably hoping the Delta variant would be renamed the “Obama variant.”