But the planned party with a reported 475 guests has drawn criticism — particularly from the right — amid the spread of the coronavirus delta variant.
The event will be held outside. All guests must be fully vaccinated and submit negative test results before entrance, according to reports. An appointed “COVID-coordinator” will oversee the party. It’s not known if masks will be mandatory.
Guests reportedly invited by Obama, who turns 60 on Wednesday, include director Steven Spielberg, actor George Clooney and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
President Joe Biden will not attend, but “looks forward to catching up with former President Obama soon and properly welcome him to the over-sixty club,” said a White House spokesperson.
The worrying rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks ― especially among the unvaccinated ― has prompted the reintroduction of some COVID-19 safety protocols.
Martha’s Vineyard, in Dukes County, is currently not deemed at high risk of a coronavirus outbreak. But a cluster of COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people in nearby Provincetown last month prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reintroduce its advice for wearing masks indoors.