President Joe Biden will not be attending former President Barack Obama’s star-studded, 700-person birthday party Wednesday on 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 said Monday, according to Axios and The Hill.
Though the president will be traveling to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, that day, Obama’s 60th birthday party will reportedly be attended by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and George Clooney. Axios originally reported that Pearl Jam was slated to perform, but a spokesperson for the band has since told Fox News that the group will not be performing.
More than 60,000 people congregated in nearby Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the Fourth of July weekend, most of whom partied maskless, according to The New York Times. “Scientists have traced 965 cases to those gatherings; 238 of them involved residents of Provincetown itself,” per Axios.
“The recent breakthrough cases in nearby Provincetown, Massachusetts, after the July Fourth holiday showed the continued risk of spread even between vaccinated people — prompting new masking guidelines from the CDC,” Axios continued.
Axios quoted Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, who said Sunday on CNN, “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,” adding, “But if there were 100 people, and, of course, how are you really going to be sure about people’s vaccination status?”
“A person with knowledge of the Obama party protocols said all guests will have to be COVID-tested, although they didn’t say when, where or what proof they would have to offer,” according to Axios.
In addition to being held outdoors, all guests at the event are asked to be vaccinated and reportedly there will be a “COVID-coordinator” to police proper protocols.
A source familiar with the event told Axios that instead of bringing gifts, “guests are being asked to consider giving to programs that work to support boys and young men of color and their families here at home in the United States, empower adolescent girls around the world, and equip the next generation of emerging community leaders.”
Obama’s party will be held at his $12-million, 30-acre estate overlooking the ocean in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard. The former first family purchased the 6,892-square-foot mansion for $11.75 million in 2019, which includes seven bedrooms.
As The Chicago Tribune reported regarding the Obamas’ other homes, “The other two properties that the Obamas own are their six-bedroom, 6,243-square-foot mansion in the South Side Kenwood neighborhood, which they purchased for $1.65 million in 2005, and their nine-bedroom, 6,441-square-foot mansion in Washington, D.C.’s, Kalorama neighborhood, which they purchased from onetime White House press secretary Joe Lockhart and his wife, Giovanna, in 2017 for $8.1 million.”
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