Amid an outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19, former President Barack Obama is going to do what most Americans are doing: Hunker down, mask up, and ride the wave until it clears up.
Just kidding. Obama is going to have a birthday bash with 500 posh friends at his $12 million mansion on 29-acres in Martha’s Vineyard, complete with a backyard band (it was reportedly supposed to be Pearl Jam, but a band spokesperson now says they aren’t performing).
Obama, who turns 60 on Wednesday, doesn’t seem to have a problem with the optics. But (surprise) there are some that do, including uber-liberal and former CNN talking head Piers Morgan, who called the party “incredibly reckless.”
“Imagine for a moment that Donald Trump was throwing a massive birthday party for himself and 475 conservative friends in Martha’s Vineyard next weekend?” Morgan wrote in The Daily Mail. “What do you think the reaction would be from liberals, given that America is currently in the grip of a very dangerous new phase of the coronavirus pandemic with the Delta variant of COVID that has seen infections rise 148% in the past two weeks and hospitalizations by 73%?”
But Piers wasn’t done, declaring flat out that Obama should cancel his bash — just like millions of Americans have done for the last 18 months.
“If he doesn’t, he will encourage many skeptical unvaccinated Americans to continue refusing to have the shot at the precise moment when it’s desperately important they have it,” he said. “Put bluntly: he will cost lives. Cancel your party, Mr. President.”
The scandal has grown to the point that the White House had to weigh in — even though Obama doesn’t even work there anymore.
But Fox News reporter Peter Doocy pressed on. “So, people who are watching this at home and they see, ‘Well, if President Obama can have a party with several hundred people,’ should they think that it is okay for them to have a party with several hundred people now?”
“Well, we certainly advise everyone to follow public health guidelines, which I know the former president, who is a huge advocate of getting vaccinated, of following the guidance of public health experts, would certainly advocate for himself as well,” Psaki said.
Well, that’s debatable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week urged Americans to re-mask, especially in areas of the country where Delta is rampant. There’s talk, too, that social distancing rules that were in effect until President Joe Biden on July 4 declared the pandemic all but over should be reinstated as well.
Of course, none of that applies to Obama. He is, apparently, totally immune to irony.
After his presidency, the Obamas bought a 29-acre beachfront spread with a nearly 7,000-square-foot main house. It’s got seven bedrooms and 8½ bathrooms. But Obama spent eight years in the White House saying melting ice caps would cause sea levels to rise, at some point washing over islands and pushing into oceanside communities.
That, too, drew reaction on social media. “If you truly believe that climate change is going to be as devastating as the pundits are saying (ex: the island of Manhattan will soon be underwater), why would you gamble $15M to buy an island estate directly on the water?” one Twitterer wrote.