BARACK Obama has been slammed for plans to host nearly 700 guests at his extravagant 60th birthday bash while urging Americans to donate $600 to fund his "Presidential Center."
The former president is reportedly hosting a lavish outdoor event at his $12million Martha’s Vineyard estate in Massachusetts next weekend with attendees asked to take a Covid-19 test and be vaccinated.
The Obamas will welcome stars like Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and Steven Spielberg to the sprawling 29-acre property, but his former Vice President Joe Biden is unable to attend Obama's star-studded event.
But as Barack's b-day celebrations loomed, fans were asked to fork out "$6, $60, $600 or an amount of your choosing to help bring the Obama Presidential Center to life on the South Side of Chicago" via his website.
"[To] fuel our work to support emerging leaders around the world. Or simply tell us and President Obama how you’ve spent 60 minutes—or even 60 seconds—giving back to your community," it read.
His senior advisor Valerie Jarrett also plugged the donation drive, tweeting: "My dear friend @BarackObama is turning 60 tomorrow. For his birthday gift, I'm asking you to chip in $6 or $60."
Obama celebrates his milestone birthday on Wednesday but will reportedly hold the party over the weekend, when Pearl Jam is expected to perform for his celebrity guests.
But the move has sparked concern online that the party could be a "super spreader" event with one Twitter user commenting: "Will they be wearing masks while sipping their champagne?"
"Obama set to hold Covid Super Spreader Event," another added, while a third noted, "The elite do not have to follow the rules they have set for us."
Obama has reportedly invited 475 guests and employed 200 staff to work the event despite the rising number of Covid cases nationwide.
Partygoers will reportedly have to have received a vaccine or show a negative Covid test – but it is unclear if they will be required to show proof of vaccination or testing to the outdoor event.
It also hasn't been confirmed if masks will be required at Obama's party as the Delta variant causes a surge in Covid cases across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has revealed that the Delta variant now accounts for more than 80 percent of all new infections in the US.
Obama's party is also being held after a CDC report study revaled vaccinated people may be as contagious as the unvaccinated given how the Delta variant is spreading faster than the common cold.
The agency's authors said the findings suggest that the CDC’s mask guidance should be expanded to include the entire country, even outside of hot spots.
Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told CNN on Sunday: "If you're talking about a small party like I might have at my house for six or eight people who are all fully vaccinated, I do not believe, at this point, we need to put masks on to be next to each other.
"But if there were 100 people, and, of course, how are you really going to be sure about people's vaccination status?"
A spokesperson for the Obamas said: "The guest list includes a large number of family members and friends to mark the occasion. The private event will be paid for with the family’s personal funds."
A White House official told The Hill thar Biden is “unable to attend this weekend.”
Source: Read Full Article