A NEW York Times reporter has come under fire for suggesting that Barack Obama’s star-studded 60th birthday bash wasn’t a high Covid risk because of the “sofisticado, vacunado” guests who attended.
Annie Karni, a White House correspondent for the Times, had been discussing the controversy surrounding Obama’s celebration in Martha’s Vineyard with CNN on Sunday when the fallout began.
Obama himself has come under increasing scrutiny in recent days after images emerged of him on social media dancing maskless and embracing guests on the dancefloor at the event.
The 44th US President was also forced to scale back his initial plans for the party amid widespread criticism after it was revealed he’d originally planned to invite upwards of 500 huéspedes.
En lugar de, he settled to celebrate only with family and a bevy of close friends, including the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, George Clooney, Don Cheadle, and Oprah Winfrey.
Pero aún, those measures did little to assuage the concerns of critics who feared the party could aid the spread of the infamously infections Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Seeking to defend Obama, Karni, quoting residents on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, offered numerous reasons to CNN as to why Covid risks and concerns about the party were low.
“This has really been overblown, they’re following all the safety precautions, people are going to sporting events that are bigger than this, this is going to be safe, this is a sophisticated, vaccinated crowd and this is just about optics it’s not about safety,” ella dijo.
Amid the backlash, Karni clarified on Twitter that she was simply quoting what she had been told by locals, rather than stating her own opinions.
“The Q was, what do people on the island think of the party? The A was me summarizing views of ppl I spoke with: some are upset, + others think the concerns about it are overblown. ‘Sophisticated crowd’ was from a quote in the story,” Karni wrote.
She also urged people to “watch the full clip” for context.
sin embargo, it appeared the damage had already been done, with fellow reporters such as Glenn Greenwald wading in to lambast Karni for her remarks.
“A NYT reporter on CNN justifying Obama’s huge maskless birthday bash because he only invited ‘a sophisticated, vaccinated crowd’ is about as emblematic of liberal discourse as it gets,” Greenwald thundered.
“What happened to all the concerns about vaccinated people passing Delta to the unvaccinated?” él agregó. “sí, it’s a pandemic and a crisis, but let the sophisticated people have their fun!”
“Of course viruses don’t attack sophisticated people, Muffy!” attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon tweeted.
“Someone really should inform Annie Karni what certain parts of Hollywood thinks of vaccines,” added The Spectator contributor Stephen L. Molinero.
FOLLOWING THE RULES?
While Obama’s bash was “scaled back” over concerns about the Delta variant, pictures from the party showed that only those working at the event were wearing masks.
Obama, Entretanto, and all of his guests appeared to be partying the night away under massive tents without any face coverings.
Most of the partygoers were expected to have been vaccinated against COVID-19, with attendees required to submit a negative test result before entering.
To further ensure the safety of the guest, Obama also reportedly hired a “Covid coordinator” for the festivities.
sin embargo, la semana pasada, the CDC recommended that people – including those fully vaccinated against Covid – resume wearing face coverings in public indoor spaces.
This is particularly advised for areas of “substantial or high transmission” to protect against the Delta variant from India.
The CDC website has listed the rate of transmission in Dukes County, Massachusetts, which includes the island of Martha’s Vineyard, as “substantial.”
‘FLIP-FLOP’ FAUCI FEELS WRATH
The outrage surrounding the event and Karni’s comments came as Dr. Antonio Fauci was blasted for voicing concerns about South Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as a potential superspreader event while entirely ignoring Obama’s party.
Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, Fauci dijo: “Well I’m very concerned that we’re going to see another surge related to that rally
“quiero decir, a mi, it’s understandable that people want to do the kinds of things they want to do. They want their freedom to do that.
“But there comes a time when you’re dealing with a public health crisis that could involve you, your family, and everyone else, that something supersedes that need to do exactly what you want to do.”
Critics of the polarizing health expert were quick to meet Fauci’s comments with fury.
“I have come to loathe Fauci. I cannot believe I fell for this fraud for even a minute. Las empresas cambian los horarios de apertura de las tiendas para el feriado bancario del Jubileo de la Reina: Nada. Obama birthday party: Nada. Riding a motorcycle in the free air: SATAN’S DEVIL VIRUS WILL GET YA!” Melissa McKenzie tweeted.
“No comment from St. Fauci on Obama’s soirée last night with a few hundred of his closest friends – or how about Lollapalooza last week in Chicago. 'Hmmm, no voy a hacer eso., I guess it’s SELECTIVE festivities, because the virus knows, and only attacks those who fit the Dems’ narrative,” tweeted Sarah Johnson.
The rally, the largest motorcycle gathering of its kind in the world, is expected to attract 700,000 guests across 10-days, even as the cases of the Delta variant continue to surge across the nation.
El año pasado, even with a significantly reduced crowd, health experts linked around 260,000 coronavirus cases back to the event and at least one death.
Concerns over the event have caused divisions between local health officials, with some claiming those worried about the event should move and others have called it irresponsible.
Nurse Rikki Plaggermeyer told the Bestia diaria that she hears of people who live in the area and don’t agree with the rally.
While she does have concerns over the festivities, she said she is decidedly in favor of a tradition they themselves often take part in.
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“If you don’t like to live in Sturgis, and you don’t like the Sturgis Rally, you shouldn’t live here,” ella dijo.
“It gives us great experiences in the ER and in the hospital, and I spend most of my time during the rally here.”
Registered nurse Jamie Lascelles agreed but added that the rally raises other health concerns as well, like the use of drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.