By IVAN THOMAS-HICKS
Saturday, Aug. 7, Barack Obama gathered around his family, friends, and former staff members to celebrate his 60th birthday.
After critics, congressmen, and citizens gave Obama flack for his almost 700-person attended jubilee, he and his team “significantly scaled back” his party plans given the ominous threat of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
And according to photos snapped on and above Martha’s Vineyard by gossip hounds and reporters, the posh oceanfront mansion, where the nation’s wealthiest went to honor Obama’s life milestone, was an impressive sight.
Feted inside a mammoth white tent nuzzled against his family’s $12 million vacation home, aerial shots were taken before and during the party. It was unclear who was all in attendance, but eight aides, including Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, were tasked with having to un-invite people from the party, according to The New York Times.
The newly minted sexagenarian was not throwing caution to the wind: He had hired a COVID-19 coordinator to verify that all attendees tested negative before the event, and had asked everybody to be fully vaccinated. The U.S. is once again recording around 100,000 new cases on a daily basis, marking a return to levels not seen since the fall and winter.
A “majority” of the former staffers had been uninvited, while paparazzi shots by The Daily Mail documented the arrivals of John Legend, Steven Colbert, Don Cheadle, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union. Beyoncé and Jay-Z were reportedly already on the island, and John Kerry—Obama’s former secretary of state—was photographed arriving on Martha’s Vineyard by private jet.
Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay bowed out on their own, according to the New York Times. Larry David, David Letterman, and Conan O’Brien were also reportedly among those who were disinvited.