Former President Barack Obama who turned 60 on the 4th of August, celebrated a massively scaled-down birthday bash on Saturday night. The party had originally been planned to follow CDC public health protocols and was to enforce mandatory testing for guests as well as have a Covid safety coordinator on site. However, the Obamas had to change their plans following concerns about the Delta variant of Covid-19 which is said to be dangerous as well as highly transmittable. What started on paper as an event with a 400-strong guest list and a 200 hired staff, ultimately turned out to be a more intimate affair on the family’s 29-acre property in Martha’s Vineyard.
Hannah Hankins, a spokeswoman for Obama, had issued a statement that notified the press of the change in plans and also added that the former President thanked everyone who wished him well on his birthday. Around the time of that statement, The New York Times observed that many guests had already made plans to travel to the Massachusetts island.
The guests who did make it to the party included Grammy award-winning artist H.E.R, John Legend and Chrissy Teigan, and Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade. Guests who had been uninvited included the President’s former advisor David Axelrod and television producer and actor Larry King. All guests had been tested before the event and CDC mandates were kept in place by an on-site coordinator. The Obama’s have been vocal in their support of Americans getting vaccinated. They have even appeared in videos with Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley encouraging people to get their shots. On the big day, the former President dressed casually in a button-down shirt, white pants, and cream loafers. The former first lady wore a floor-length green, brown, and blue patterned gown.
Obama encouraged his guests to forego gifts in favor of a donation to programs and organizations that support young people. Some of these organizations include My Brothers Keeper, the Girls Opportunity Alliance, and the Obama Foundation’s Global Leadership programs.