President Biden will not be going to former President Obama’s 60th birthday party at Martha’s Vineyard, the White House said on Monday.
Obama’s party is scheduled to feature up to 500 people and over 200 staff and has come under criticism from some over coronavirus concerns. The party will have a “coronavirus-coordinator” to deal with the risk of outbreaks from large gatherings, and all attendees are “encouraged” to be vaccinated and are required to be tested.
“While President Biden is not able to attend the event, he looks forward to getting caught up with Obama soon and correctly welcoming him into the over-sixty club,” the White House said in a comment.
The Obamas will have their hundreds of friends at their ocean view mansion, and Pearl Jam will be playing at the event.
The CDC announced in late July that even vaccinated people should wear masks while inside in certain high risk locations, a reversal of its previous mask rules. Martha’s Vineyard does not however currently count as a “high risk” area.
The CDC based its new guidance on a research finding that vaccinated people can get and spread coronavirus and the delta variant in some circumstances, though their cases are not so severe for those who were not vaccinated. The study came out of a town called Provincetown, Massachusetts, which is around 60 miles just north of Martha’s Vineyard.
Some experts have warned against having large gatherings under current situations, with the NIH Director Francis Collins saying Americans should use “common sense.”
“If you are talking about a small party for six or eight individuals who are all completely vaccinated, I do not believe, at this time, we must put masks on to be close to each other,” Collins said to CNN.
“But if we are talking about 100 people, and, of course, how are you going to ensure you know people’s vaccination status?” he said. “Then the dynamic is changed some. There will be a need for good common sense in those situations.”
Many conservatives are skeptical of Democrats’ covid-19 lockdowns and mask mandates. They believe these are being used as political weapons. The Democrats are providing clear evidence for this day after day, with this huge gathering being the latest bizarre contradiction.
Author: Scott Dowdy