Despite ongoing concerns over large events during the covid pandemic, former US president Barack Obama is planning to celebrate his 60th birthday in style along with hundreds of maskless guests
Approximately 700 people (475 guests slong with 200 staff) will reportedly attend the Obama birthday bash at his mansion on the Massachusetts island -Martha’s Vineyard -this weekend amid heightened public health concerns about the Covid-19 Delta variant.
RT reports: Obama himself has been one of many public figures warning people that Covid-19 is “more contagious” now thanks to the Delta variant, which health officials say is behind upticks in cases in numerous states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its mask guidance, stating that even vaccinated Americans should be masking up in areas with rising cases. Multiple counties have reinstated mask mandates and recommendations, including Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where Obama’s 60th will be held, is not directly in what the CDC recognizes as a high-risk area (it’s classed as ‘moderate’ risk), but nearby Provincetown has seen an uptick in cases and became the center of a study that was reportedly behind the CDC’s recent reversal on masks.
The new cases looked at in the study came from “summer events and public gatherings.” Health officials have also warned that they are concerned the Delta variant can still be spread by vaccinated individuals.
According to a report from The Hill, Obama’s party will be held outdoors and guests will be required to have a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination, but there is no word on how thoroughly these things will be checked as numerous celebrities will be in attendance – and will no doubt traveling from around the country to get there.
The recent Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, Illinois was another large outdoor gathering, though it had thousands in attendance, and plenty of celebrities, but images from the event caused immediate concern and confusion, as few wore masks at the venue and all were packed fairly tight.
To make matters worse, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had warned days before that new mask mandates and restrictions could be coming if the amount of daily Covid-19 cases consistently went above 200, something numerous critics predicted based on the event – where even the mayor herself was seen avoiding masking up.
Obama’s plans for his celebration have caused similar confusion and outrage.
“The Obama bash – taking place after a nearby Delta outbreak in Provincetown, as millions face evictions after Obama presided over a massive foreclose crisis – sounds great!” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.
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