Former US President Barack Obama has scaled back the 60th birthday bash due to the spread of the Delta strain of COVID-19 in the country.
The decision for Saturday's event comes after news coverage regarding the party that raised questions about both the safety and optics of an event that was expected to draw hundreds of guests.
"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," Obama's spokesperson Hannah Hankins said on Wednesday, as quoted by The New York Times.
The report said that likes of actor George Clooney, director Steven Spielberg and TV host Oprah Winfrey were on the original guest list.
Both Barack and his wife Michelle Obama have been vocal advocates of following public health protocols and stressing the importance of vaccination.
"We all want to be with our family and friends again, and the best way to make that happen is by getting the vaccine as soon it's available to you," Michelle had said in April.
Last week, Obama tweeted about how the COVID-19 has become more contagious, emphasizing the need for more people to become inoculated.
In recent weeks, the US has seen a rise in COIVID-19 cases due to spread of Delta variant. The total of number coronavirus in the country now stands at 35,242,207 cases.
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