Members of Joe Biden’s administration have amped up the fear-mongering as cases of COVID-19 tick up across the nation with the rise of the so-called delta variant. But one person once thought to be an ally of the Biden White House seems to be undercutting the narrative.
According to Newsmax, former President Barack Obama wasn’t shy about planning a massive party in advance of his upcoming 60th birthday — though the 44th commander-in-chief has since scaled back his plans in a big way amid criticism.
Of course, Obama’s team didn’t mention the outcry in their statement on the matter, which cited an apparently belated realization of the severity of the delta variant as the reason the former president’s cancelation.
Reportedly, as many as 700 people had been originally expected to attend the event, which would have been held at Obama’s $12 million 30-acre estate on the exclusive and wealthy island community of Martha’s Vineyard.
A gathering of the celebrity elite
Axios was among the first media outlets to report last weekend on Obama’s upcoming birthday bash, where the former president would play host to at least 475 confirmed guests that would include family, friends, celebrities, and political allies, along with an estimated 200 workers to manage it all.
To be sure, there were reportedly some pandemic-related precautions being taken, including requesting that all guests be fully vaccinated and provide a negative test result to a special “COVID-coordinator” hired by Obama specifically for the occasion, which would also reportedly be held outdoors, for the most part.
According to the New York Post, however, not all of the workers hired for the event were thrilled at what was planned, as one anonymous employee described the whole thing as “insane” and a logistical “nightmare.”
Meanwhile, the Post noted that several Republicans had raised legitimate objections to the plans — and sneered at the evident hypocrisy.
WH defends Obama’s party plans
Interestingly enough, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked during Monday’s daily press briefing about Obama’s party plans by a reporter who wondered if it set a “wrong example” for the general public in light of the administration’s oft-expressed dire concerns about COVID-19.
Psaki, of course, shifted such questions to her former boss: Obama himself.
Even when pressed on the Biden administration’s public concerns about the potential spread of the delta variant among fully vaccinated Americans, and whether the Obama party could be a “super-spreader event,” Psaki continued to decline to criticize Obama or his big plans.
“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,” she said, according to a White House transcript.