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Obama Curtails 60th Birthday Bash After Delta Variant Surge

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FILE - Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally as he campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at Turner Field in Atlanta. Obama, already a million-selling author, is also a prize winning author. PEN America announced Wednesday, Nov. 25, that Obama will receive its second annual Voice of Influence Award in recognition of how his writings “have traversed political, social, and ideological bounds and framed a self-reflective humanism that has marked his influence on public life.” (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

(AP) — Former President Barack Obama has scaled down his 60th birthday bash due to the surge in the delta variant of the coronavirus. A spokesperson says the party planned for this weekend at his home on Martha’s Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast is now limited to family and close friends. Obama, who turned 60 on Wednesday, had been criticized for planning a big celebration during a pandemic. Published reports had said several hundred guests were expected. Obama’s defenders stressed that the party would be outdoors, guests were asked to provide a negative COVID-19 test and the event would follow public health guidelines.

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