In The Know

Larry David, late-night talk hosts cut from Obama birthday guest list


Comedian Larry David and late-night talk show hosts David Letterman and Conan O’Brien were reportedly among the celebrities cut from former President Obama’s 60th birthday bash in Martha’s Vineyard this weekend after his team scaled back the event due to concerns about the delta variant. 

The New York Times reported that the celebration, which includes a Friday night birthday kickoff and a main event at Obama’s $12 million mansion Saturday, will no longer have a number of A-list celebrities who were previously extended an invitation. 

Among those reportedly removed from the guest list were Obama’s former White House senior adviser David Axelrod, along with a large number of former Obama administration officials. 

Others had already pulled out of the event as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ramped up its warnings that vaccinated individuals may transmit the delta variant to unvaccinated individuals in some cases, and that the highly transmissible strain of COVID-19 was as contagious as chickenpox. 

According to two sources familiar with the planning, Oprah Winfrey and filmmaker Ava DuVernay had already decided not to attend Obama’s birthday party due to delta variant concerns. 

The White House also previously announced that President Biden would not make it. 

However, stars like Jay-Z and Beyoncé were still expected to attend as of Friday, according to the Times. 

The party, details of which were first reported by The Hill last month, is being held at the Obamas’ oceanside home, set on nearly 30 acres. 

Sources told The Hill at the time that guests were being asked to have a COVID-19 test before attending the event at the nearly 7,000-foot mansion to celebrate the former president, who officially turned 60 on Wednesday. 

However, the Times reported earlier this week that the Saturday party would be limited to family and close friends due to COVID-19 concerns, with Obama spokesperson Hanna Hankins attributing the move to “the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week.” 

“He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon,” Hankins added. 

The Times reported Friday that according to people familiar with the planning, Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest friends and advisers, had been in favor of limiting the guest list, with the former president saying that he didn’t want the party to distract from ongoing efforts by the Biden administration to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated and follow updated CDC safety guidelines.

Tags Barack Obama Barack Obama Beyonce Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC David Axelrod Delta variant Jay-Z Joe Biden late night talk shows Martha's Vineyard Oprah Winfrey The New York Times Valerie Jarrett

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