New York Times White House Correspondent Annie Karni claimed on CNN over the weekend that former President Barack Obama’s large-scale birthday party was safe regardless of COVID-19 fears her media colleagues inflict on the nation since his party attendees were “a sophisticated, vaccinated crowd.”
“Other people said, you know, this is really being overblown,” Karni said. “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.”
Obama hosted his 60th birthday party in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., on Saturday. Around 200 people plus staff went to the 30-acre, $12 million oceanfront residence. Several celebrities came, including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Bradley Cooper, and Steven Spielberg. The former president’s team claimed it was “scaling back” the party but leaked footage showed a big turnout, as well as Obama dancing maskless.
"a sophisticated, vaccinated crowd" pic.twitter.com/qzh3glcQTQ
— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) August 8, 2021
Karni’s attempt to defend the party—even though left-wing outlets such as the Times are focused on Delta variant coverage and Democrat allies are calling for lockdowns and mask mandates again—comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Biden administration claiming COVID shots are insufficient to stop other mitigation measures.
The CDC’s updated guidance, however, instructs vaccinated people to wear masks in some indoor areas deemed riskier. When asked by Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy during a briefing about the administration backing further lockdowns, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We listen to the CDC and the experts and their guidance” and “The CDC is a body that is very well-respected. And, again, we follow their guidance.”
Whereas attendees at the Obama party were “sophisticated,” according to the Times reporter, those who attended rallies hosted by former President Donald Trump were maligned as “superspreaders.”