Just days after former President Barack Obama hosted a birthday bash with some 200 of his closest friends at his nearly $12 million Martha’s Vineyard estate, cases of COVID-19 spiked on the island, according to an exclusive report from the Daily Mail.
“Too early to tell”
According to the Boston Herald, it’s still too early for local health officials to tell if Obama’s birthday party, held Aug. 7 to celebrate the former president’s 60th birthday just days prior, prompted an outbreak of COVID-19.
As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes in its guidance on the topic, it can take up to two weeks for those who have been infected with the coronavirus to start seeing symptoms.
“It’s too early to tell,” Janet Hathaway, an assistant to the Edgartown Board of Health, told the Herald of whether Obama’s event prompted increased cases of COVID-19. Still, she said, the area has “seen an uptick of the virus since the first week in August.”
But according to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital spokesperson Marissa Lefebvre, that’s not a huge surprise.
“This is the busiest time on the island,” Lefebvre explained to the Herald. On whether the infections are linked to the Obama bash, “it’s impossible for us to know at this point,” she said.
“Please forgive me”
While the ultimate outcome of the event remains to be seen, the former president has faced heavy criticism since the Aug. 7 party for allowing it to go on despite growing concern over the coronavirus nationwide.
Though there was reportedly a ban on photography, videos shared of the event on social media appeared to show individuals dancing maskless, even as the CDC has recommended that even Americans who are vaccinated for COVID-19 resume wearing face coverings amid worries over the delta variant.
In response to what has quickly become a PR problem for the former first family, Erykah Badu, a musician and guest at the event who admitted to sharing unauthorized images, has apologized to the Obamas for the leaks, according to The Hill.
Mr. And Mrs. Obama , Please forgive me 4 being the “terrible guest “ at such a sacred event for your family. I was so inconsiderate, Thank you for all your love. What an example of ‘how NOT ‘ to be …… erica
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) August 12, 2021