The former president had planned to celebrate his 60th with a big party involving hundreds of guests ― reportedly including Hollywood A-lister George Clooney and talk show legend Oprah Winfrey ― at his estate on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, this weekend.
But the shindig has now been “significantly” scaled back for only family and close friends “due to the new spread of the delta variant over the past week,” Obama’s spokesperson Hannah Hankins said in a statement Wednesday.
“He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon,” Hankins added.
Obama turns 60 on Wednesday.
He’d drawn criticism for planning the now-nixed party ― for which guests had to be fully vaccinated and present negative test status ― amid the surge in coronavirus cases, fueled by unvaccinated people.