After Criticism, Obama Scales Back Guests For Vineyard Birthday Bash

Gov. Charlie Baker during a June press conference. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker during a June press conference. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Editor's note: After this article was published, former President Obama's office announced the size of the Edgartown party is significantly scaled back and will now only include family and close friends.

Gov. Charlie Baker offered some harsh words regarding former President Obama's 60th birthday party on Martha's Vineyard this weekend. Nearly 500 people are expected to attend, with 200 others staffing the event.

The governor said he was not invited to the Edgartown bash but added that if he were, he would decline because having so many people in one place is still risky, due to COVID-19.

"I think 700 people at an event like that is not a good idea," said Baker, who added that many older people and others with comorbidities are still at extreme risk of serious illness.

"Any big group that involves people who fall into those categories, I think people should either put them off or be really careful," Baker said during an unrelated event in Revere Tuesday afternoon.

"For some of us, we don't fall into those categories, maybe it's not as big a deal, especially if you're vaccinated. But even if you are vaccinated among some of those more vulnerable populations, we should all be very careful," Baker added.

The governor said if he were to have a large family gathering at his house, it would include at least one person over the age of 90, his father.

"One of the things we know absolutely about COVID is if you have multiple comorbidities. If you are over the age of 75 — and especially if you're over the age of 85 — you are at extreme risk of getting severely ill if you get that virus," Baker said.

The Obama party will be held outdoors. Guests will reportedly be required to be COVID tested before being allowed to attend.

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