Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife Jacqueline contracted COVID-19 and have been hospitalized.
The Civil Rights activist founded the Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC), which confirmed their diagnosis.
The husband and wife are currently receiving treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Their son, Jesse Jr., previously served in Illinois as a U.S. Congressman in District 2.
“Doctors are currently monitoring the condition of both,” the Rainbow PUSH Coalition told CNN on Saturday. “Anyone who has been around either of them for the last five or six days should follow the CDC guidelines.”
Furthermore, Rev. Jesse Jackson previously took part in a vaccination promotional event in January. He took the vaccine in an effort to promote the shot to the Black community. He got the vaccine from Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, who helped develop the Moderna vaccine.
Health officials explained that a small portion of vaccinated people can still catch the virus. However, the side effects are typically far less severe which normally don’t require hospitalizations. This comes as the Delta variant came to the United States. Medical companies are currently working on developing a potential third vaccine to help prevent against the new variants. The elderly and immunocompromised are at a higher risk of transmission.
Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Health Battles
In February, Rev. Jesse Jackson was hospitalized for abdominal discomfort. He had successful gallbladder surgery.
In 2017, he announced that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which is a neurological disorder that does not have a cure. This impacts motor function, speech, sleep and can cause confusion among other physical and mental symptoms.
“My family and I began to notice changes about three years ago,” Jackson said in a press release. “After a battery of tests, my physicians identified the issue as Parkinson’s disease, a disease that bested my father.”
He admitted that realizing “the effects of this disease on me has been painful.”
Although the disease can be debilitating, he has seen this as a signal to make a major lifestyle change. He dedicated himself to physical therapy in an attempt to slow the disease’s progression.
He spoke with WTTW about his prognosis and how he manages to continue to work.
“In some ways, it is [difficult],” he said. “But I do a lot more thinking and writing these days. It’s tough, but very good. I take my medicine and my therapy, and my mind: I keep working. Working, working, working – it doesn’t matter so much.”
The South Carolina native was a two-time Democratic presidential candidate. He worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in civil rights demonstrations. They successfully negotiated the release of American soldiers in Yugoslavia. He went on to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Bill Clinton.