Former President Barack Obama is planning to celebrate his 60th birthday this week with a massive bash for 700 people at his home in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts despite a spike of COVID-19 cases in the area.
Obama is reportedly planning to have at least 200 staffers on-hand to help with 475 star-studded guests that include Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and George Clooney, according to The New York Post.
“It’s going to be big,” one source told The Hill of the birthday bash Obama is planning.
The band Pearl Jam is set to perform at the party, and a local hairdresser has even been hired to style the hair of one unidentified member of the group. The party will reportedly take place outside at Obama’s $12 million, 30-acre waterfront property.
Obama has decided to go through with the party despite the fact that a mask advisory was just reimposed by the town even for vaccinated people while in indoor public spaces because of rising cases of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, according to The Vineyard Gazette.
Martha’s Vineyard is also not far from the town of Provincetown, where a massive coronavirus outbreak took place among vaccinated people following the week of July 4.
Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told CNN yesterday that people need to use “common sense” before having large gatherings.
“If you’re talking about a small party like I might have at my house for six or eight people who are all fully vaccinated, I do not believe, at this point, we need to put masks on to be next to each other,” Collins said. “But if there were 100 people, and, of course, how are you really going to be sure about people’s vaccination status?”
“Then the dynamic changes a little bit. There will be some need for common sense there,” he added.
The White House has confirmed that President Joe Biden will not be attending the birthday bash.
“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-sixty club,” said a spokesperson for the White House.
Obama is known for enjoying celebrating his birthday with major blowouts. When he turned 50 back in 2011, he hosted celebrities like Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Tom Hanks and Chris Rock at a party in the White House.