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The White House defended former President Barack Obama’s decision to host a massive 60th birthday bash at Martha’s Vineyard, despite the event defying guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
“I would note first that former President Obama has been a huge advocate of individuals getting vaccinated,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the daily briefing.
Nearly 700 people are expected to mingle during the party, according to reports, including at least 200 staff and 475 invited guests, creating fears of a coronavirus “super-spreader” event on the island.
Psaki defended the Obama birthday bash, noting that it would be held outdoors and that Martha’s Vineyard was in a “moderate” spread zone identified by the CDC. She also said that Obama’s event would have some level of testing for the virus for attendees.
Pearl Jam is expected to perform at the event that will be held outdoors on Obama’s $12 million property at Martha’s Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard boards of health last week issued a mask advisory for anyone unable to maintain social distance or while indoors, presumably anyone attending the party.
Psaki referred additional questions from reporters about the event to Obama and his staff.
“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 concluded.
President Joe Biden is not expected to attend the event, according to the White House.