China: Obama Maskless Birthday Bash Proves Failure of ‘Individualism’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Former U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama participate in the unveiling of their official portraits during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, on February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The portraits were commissioned by the Gallery, for Kehinde Wiley to …
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

China’s government-run Global Times accused leftist former U.S. President Barack Obama of viewing parties “as a necessity” and proving American “individualism” was a failure Sunday in response to leaked photos of Obama’s lavish 60th birthday party.

The party, held on the $12-million Obama family estate on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, reportedly featured hundreds of guests, including some of the world’s wealthiest and most famous people. Photos leaked from the event appear to show guests not wearing sanitary masks or social distancing, creating an atmosphere that facilitates the spread of Chinese coronavirus.

Obama publicly attacked former President Donald Trump for insufficiently promoting lockdowns and limitations on social gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus while president. In leaked private remarks, Obama called Trump’s response “an absolutely chaotic disaster” because of the allegedly selfish nature of Trump’s policies.

“It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’, when that mindset is operationalized in our government,” the BBC quoted Obama as saying.

Obama’s decision to hold a large birthday party in a relatively sparsely populated location, attracting hundreds of travelers from afar, is not only an indictment of his decision making but of American free society, the Global Times concluded Sunday, omitting that China threw hundreds of “birthday parties” attracting thousands of people for the Communist Party’s 100th anniversary in July. China is now facing what appears to be its most severe nationwide coronavirus outbreak since the novel virus began infecting people in Wuhan, central China, in late 2019.

“For many Americans, they seem to embrace living with the novel coronavirus. Parties are a necessity for them,” the Global Times declared. “Hundreds packed into a celebration party of former president Barack Obama’s 60th birthday in Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday, despite rising concerns about the fast-spreading Delta variant. Only a few were spotted wearing face masks.”

“The utter failure of the U.S. in fighting the pandemic and the recent surge of cases are an inevitable result of individualism and liberalism that are endorsed by the entire U.S. society going to extremes,” the propaganda outlet concluded, implying that Chinese-style communist authoritarianism was a more effective ideological system. “In a sense, this reflects the governance failure of the U.S. government. To put it more broadly, it mirrors the failure of the governance model of 21st-century American neo-liberalism.”

The Global Times concluded that no American “wants to sacrifice their own interests for public good” and that no “improvement in the U.S. in fighting the pandemic” would occur before politicians made personal sacrifices.

The government newspaper also accused the United States of “breeding virus variants” through events like Obama’s birthday soiree, offering no evidence that America is a significant origin location for any Chinese coronavirus variants. According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), scientists have identified eight official variants, only one of which — “Iota” — is believed to have originated in America. The W.H.O. has designated Iota a “variant of interest,” not “concern.” Scientists have documented that the variant appears to have been outbred in its origin location, the New York metropolitan area, by the British “Alpha” variant for now.

Sunday’s Global Times article followed a more thorough scolding of Obama’s behavior in the Chinese newspaper.

“For Obama, hosting a birthday party is aimed at showing off his former glory as president and a manifestation of the idea that Americans are ‘free’ to do whatever they want,” the Global Times analyzed last week. “Obama once blasted [former President Donald] Trump’s handling of the pandemic, but he himself is not setting a better example by following the rules.”

News reports initially surfaced last week that the former president had invited nearly 700 people to his birthday party, triggering nationwide outrage given lockdown measures, more often supported by Democrats, preventing millions of Americans from holding weddings, funerals, and other significant life events. White House press secretary Jen Psaki initially defended Obama, stating that he was “a huge advocate of individuals getting vaccinated.”

The Obama complex stated, in response to the outrage, that the president had “scaled back” his birthday party plans last week. When the event happened this weekend, however, leaked photos and reports of the guest list indicated that it remained an extremely crowded affair. Images from the event appeared to indicate that guests did not wear masks. Among those reported as attending were Beyonce, Jay-Z, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, and Bruce Springsteen. Hanks was notably one of the first celebrities to publicly reveal he had been infected with Chinese coronavirus in March 2020.

In its initial condemnation of Obama, the Global Times added that hosting large events “seems to be embedded in the DNA of Americans,” condemning President Joe Biden for holding an Independence Day event at the White House in July.

The Chinese Communist Party has made routine the use of large-scale events as propaganda to show Beijing’s alleged success in fighting the Chinese coronavirus. Among its most egregious uses of mass events in this way was the New Year’s Eve celebration staged in Wuhan, the city where the virus originated, to welcome 2021. Establishment media outlets in the United States breathlessly shared images of thousands of people packed into public areas in Wuhan for the event, contrasting them with New York’s Times Square, barren due to coronavirus restrictions.

Throughout June, the Communist Party eagerly encouraged Chinese people to travel across the country for “red tourism” in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the Party on July 1. State media outlets like the Global Times published images of thousands of people attending communist propaganda events and crowding together despite the ongoing danger of both the original virus and allegedly more contagious variants. On July 1, dictator Xi Jinping — whose vaccination status remains unknown and who has done nothing to promote vaccination in China — delivered a speech to tens of thousands of people packed into Tiananmen Square.

The Global Times admitted “glaring loopholes” in China’s coronavirus response last week as some of the country’s largest cities, including Wuhan, Beijing, and Nanjing, imposed movement restrictions in the face of rising cases.

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