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Biden will not attend Obama's star-studded 60th birthday party at $12m mansion as COVID cases surge

Joe Biden will not be attending his former boss Barack Obama's 60th birthday party on Martha's Vineyard, a White House official reportedly said Monday.

A White House official told The Hill that the president is 'unable to attend this weekend.'

'He looks forward to catching up with former President Obama soon and properly welcoming him into the over 60 club,' the official said.

Obama turns 60 on Wednesday and is expected to celebrate over the weekend. On Friday Biden is traveling to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where he has a holiday home.

The party is also being planned as COVID cases continue to surge nationwide, with the Delta variant accounting for more than 80 percent of all new infections. 

The former president has come under fire for his plans to host nearly 500 people at his Martha's Vineyard mansion for his 60th birthday, despite a nationwide rise in COVID cases.  

Joe Biden will reportedly not attend former President Obama's 60th birthday at his Martha's Vineyard home

 All guests will have to be COVID tested and vaccinated and the party will be held outdoors on the Obama's $12 billion 30-acre waterfront property.

A recent CDC study threatens to undermine the safety of the COVID protocols in place, however.

Three quarters of the coronavirus infections in a recent Massachusetts outbreak on Cape Cod were found to have been in people who are already fully vaccinated, the agency revealed at the end of July.

COVID cases have been rising throughout the country as a result of the delta variant

While he won't be attending a White House official said Biden is looking forward to 'welcoming him into the over 60 club' (pictured in April 2014)

Obama is set to turn 60 on August 4, and is said to be planning a large soiree at his 7,000-square-foot mansion in the Edgarton section of Martha's Vineyard next weekend.

An official familiar with the plans told Axios that there are now 475 confirmed guests for the party - including Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Steven Spielberg - with more than 200 staff members. 

But Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday on CNN that big parties should be avoided. 

'If you're talking about a small party like I might have at my house for six or eight people who are all fully vaccinated, I do not believe, at this point, we need to put masks on to be next to each other,' he said. 

'But if there were 100 people, and, of course, how are you really going to be sure about people's vaccination status?' 

Former President Barack Obama (left) is planning to hold his 60th birthday at Martha's Vineyard (pictured on the golf course there, right)

The party will be held outside the Obamas' 7,000-square-foot home in Edgarton he and former first lady Michelle bought in 2019 for nearly $12 million (pictured)

It includes a large in-ground pool with some chaise loungers on the side to relax

There is also an outdoor table to enjoy some meals in the summer

The house includes seven bedrooms and has two separate wings

It sits on 30-acres, and provides some great ocean views

The Obamas' spent some of their time in quarantine at the Martha's Vineyard property

There will also be a 'COVID coordinator' to ensure all proper protocols are being followed, but it remains unclear what proof of a negative COVID test or a vaccine will be required, and whether guests will be required to wear masks. 

The party comes just one month after nearby Provincetown saw a surge in coronavirus cases from the July 4 holiday.

The New York Times reports that the community, at the tip of Cape Cod, was crowded with over 60,000 people, many of whom were maskless, during the holiday.

Officials did not worry about it, however, as the community had one of the highest vaccination rates in the state.

But since then, scientists have traced 965 cases to the gatherings, 238 of them involving Provincetown residents.

Fortunately, only seven people were hospitalized and no deaths were reported. 

As a result of the outbreak, scientists discovered that vaccinated people who got breakthrough COVID cases had the same viral load as those who did not get the vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control once again recommended even those who are vaccinated continue wearing their masks indoors in areas with 'high' or 'substantial' spread.

Martha's Vineyard does not qualify as an area of 'high' or 'substantial' risk, but Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has recommended that even vaccinated people wear face masks.

'If you have a serious health condition or risk of developing a severe illness from COVID, you should take extreme precautions,' the governor announced last week.

'If you have a close friend or family members who have a serious risk of developing a severe disease or illness from COVID, you should take extra precautions.' 

Deaths, however, have continued on a downward trajectory

About 57 percent of all Americans are now vaccinated against the coronavirus

As news of Obama's party broke, some took to Twitter to call it irresponsible amidst a resurgence in COVID cases

Obama's party will take place next weekend at the $11.57 million seven-bedroom home he and Michelle bought in 2019, which includes an in-ground pool and plenty of space to relax on warm summer days.

The party will also feature a performance by Pearl Jam.

A spokesperson for the former first family told The Sun the guest list 'includes a number of family members and friends to mark the occasion,' but The Hill reports guests include Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Steven Spielberg. 

A local hairdresser was also reportedly hired to style one of the Pearl Jam member's hair before their big performance.

In lieu of gifts, Axios reports, guests are being asked to 'consider giving to programs that work to support boys and young men of color, and their families here at home in the United States, empower adolescent girls around the world and equip the next generation of emerging community leaders.'

The party is reportedly being paid for by the Obamas' personal funds. 

The former president and former first lady Michelle visited the island community in 2014

In 2014, Obama accepted the USC Shoah Foundation's Ambassadors for Humanity Award from Honorary Chair Steven Spielberg, who is said to be coming to Obama's 60th birthday party

Pearl Jam is expected to perform at the party, with the Obamas hiring a local hairdresser to style one of the band members' hair

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