Not a joke. More to follow.

(CNN) — The White House released President Obama’s original birth certificate Wednesday.

The surprise release follows recent and sustained remarks by businessman Donald Trump, among others, that raised doubts as to whether the president was born in the United States.

Update: Gonna be a fun day!

(USA Today) — President Obama is releasing his birth certificate and other details of his Aug, 4, 1961, birth in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Obama himself plans to make a statement about the so-called “birther issue” at 9:45 a.m.

The release is a response to Donald Trump and other critics who have questioned whether Obama was born in the United States, and is therefore eligible for the presidency.

The White House also released letters from this month in which Obama requested copies of his birth certificate.

“The president believed it was becoming a major distraction from the issues we are having in this country,” said communications director Dan Pfeiffer, calling it a “fake controversy” and “a sideshow.”

Obama faxed a letter to the Hawaii Department of Health on April 22, requesting two copies “of my original certificate of live birth.”

The health department replied that it would make an exception for Obama and make a copy from their bound volume of birth records.

A White House attorney traveled to Honolulu this week to pick up the copies, which arrived at the White House yesterday afternoon.

Update II: Here’s what they released.

Update III: Link to watch Obama address at 9:45 a.m.