Drone Footage Shows Huge Tents at Obama's Birthday Party After Promises to 'Scale Back' Event
Reports about celebrities arriving at the event in numbers also raised questions about an earlier promise by Obama's spokesperson that it will be attended only by relatives and close friends due to the raging Delta strain of COVID-19.
The recently-released footage allegedly shot from the drone flying over ex-US President Barack Obama's residence cast a shadow over a previous statement by his spokesperson that the former POTUS' 60th birthday party will be "scaled back". The video showed massive tents installed on the territory of the Martha’s Vineyard estate belonging to the former president, alongside a dance floor and several long tables.
The statement was made earlier this week amid massive public backlash over Obama's plans to throw a big party as the delta variant of COVID-19 rages in the country and the ex-president's allies in the Democratic Party are defending the reinstatement of the mask mandate.
"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. President Obama is appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon," Obama's spokesperson said.
The Daily Mail, which originally posted the footage, said several celebrities and politicians were spotted arriving at the birthday party, including rapper Jay-Z, singers Eddie Vedder, John Legend, TV celebrity Chrissy Teigen, former basketball player Dwyane Wade, comedian Stephen Colbert, and Obama's former Secretary of State John Kerry. This also cast a shadow on the claim that only family and close friends will be attending the event and sparked criticism and accusations of hypocrisy against the former POTUS.
"This is the tent for Obama’s ‘scaled back’ birthday party where only close friends & family were said to attend. Instead, multiple celebrities & politicians were seen. Why is it that the same people telling you to stay home & social distance don’t think those rules apply to them?" conservative commentator Charlie Kirk said via Twitter.
2 August 2021, 16:07 GMT
There is no way to tell at the moment how many guests exactly made it to the party and when the tents were installed. Considering the fact that the promise to "scale back the event" came only this week, it is possible that the tents remained from the time, when they were expected to accommodate 500 guests initially invited to the party. The office of the former president and the first lady did not comment on the report and did not respond to the requests regarding the size of the event.