After arousing criticism for the organization of a large outdoor birthday party, former President Barack Obama will celebrate his 60th birthday in a small committee, his team announced on Wednesday, explaining his choice by the spread of the variant Delta.

“This outdoor event was organized months ago, in accordance with public health guidelines and with protective measures against Covid-19,” said spokesperson Hannah Hankins.

On the upscale island of Martha's Vineyard

"Due to the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week, the President and Michele Obama have decided to drastically reduce the event to include only family and close friends," she added.

Barack Obama, born August 4, was to celebrate his birthday this weekend on the upscale island of Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts), in the company of guests vaccinated and screened for Covid-19, all outdoors in order to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), according to US media.

Hundreds of political figures and celebrities were to participate, including George Clooney, Steven Spielberg or Oprah Winfrey, according to the Washington Post.

A party that had attracted criticism

Despite its respect for the health rules in force, Barack Obama's big party drew criticism, mainly from elected Republicans.

Ohio elected official Jim Jordan said on Twitter that "if it was President Trump's birthday party," Democrats would denounce a "dangerous super-propagator event."

"Is there an exception for parties attended by wealthy liberal celebrities?"

had pretended to question the leader of the Republican Party, Ronna McDaniel.

“This is a dangerous super-spreader event.”

“How can someone be so reckless?”

“They're killing people.”

-The things Democrats would say if this was President Trump's birthday party.

- Rep.

Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) August 2, 2021

Donald Trump's administration had made headlines several times after organizing unmasked events in the White House or in government departments, or holding campaign rallies, sometimes at the height of the pandemic and before the outbreak. authorization of vaccines against Covid-19.

A ceremony in honor of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, appointed by the Republican President to sit on the Supreme Court, had in particular been suspected of having led to the contamination of a dozen people including Donald Trump himself.

Wearing a mask indoors again recommended

President Joe Biden, Obama's vice president, had no plans to attend the birthday party.

Last week, health authorities again recommended wearing masks indoors even for vaccinated people, due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, dampening hopes of a carefree summer.


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