Former US President Barack Obama, who is celebrating his 60th birthday today, has scaled back his plans for a party amid a surge in COVID cases in the country. Obama was planning to host the party in Martha’s Vineyard over the weekend, with 400 guests expected to attend the event. However, due to the spread of the delta variant, the party is being scaled down to only include family and close friends.

“This outdoor event was planned months ago in accordance with all public health guidelines and with covid safeguards in place. Due to the new spread of the delta variant over the past week, the president and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends,” Hannah Hankins, spokeswoman for Obama, said in a statement to CNN on Wednesday. 

Also Read| Barack Obama back with his summer playlist, check out his top songs

Reports had stated that all the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention public health protocols will be followed and all the guests will be tested for COVID-19. 

Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz had told The Times that Obama should cancel or postpone the event.

“Everyone is talking about it and no one is talking about it positively. Some people are making excuses for it. No one is saying it’s a good idea,” he had said. 

Also Read: Barack Obama back with his summer playlist, check out his top songs

This decision of hosting a party did not go down well with some people, who took to social media to criticise Obama. Author and political commentator Candace Owens was one of them.

“I make a pledge, from here on out, to take the pAnDeMiC as seriously as Barack Obama does. I will only host and attend parties of 700 or less. He and his elite friends are a brave reminder to us all that communism is a dish best served cold,” she tweeted on Tuesday.