Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. will be released from a rehab center Wednesday “having overcome both COVID-19 and successful therapy for his Parkinson’s Disease,” according to a statement from family.
Both Jackson Sr. and his wife Jacqueline will now be out of treatment after contracting COVID-19 in August and being hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Jackson Sr. was later moved the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab for physical therapy due to his Parkinson’s disease. His wife, Jacqueline, was released from the hospital earlier this month.
Both are now COVID-free, a family member said in a statement.
“Both my parents are ever so thankful for all of the prayers, cards and calls they have received during this very trying period of their lives,” Jonathan Jackson, their son who is also the national spokesperson for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said in a statement.
Jacqueline Jackson had not been vaccinated before her hospitalization, longtime family spokesman Frank Watkins previously said. He declined to elaborate.
The couple, married nearly 60 years, were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, family members announced Saturday, Aug. 21, with their age as a factor.
Jacqueline Jackson is also a civil rights activist who has traveled worldwide to advocate for causes. The couple has five children together.
Jesse Jackson, 79, a protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King, has remained active in calling for voting rights and other issues in recent years, even after revealing a Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2017. During the pandemic, he has encouraged others, particularly Black people, to get COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccination rates among Black people have lagged behind white people.
Jesse Jackson received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in January at a hospital on Chicago’s South Side.
According to a statement issued Wednesday, Jesse Jackson Sr. urged people to get vaccinated following his hospitalization.
“Our father continues to stress the importance of being vaccinated, wearing masks and obeying the COVID-19 protocols including social distancing and the washing of the hands,” Jonathan Jackson stated.
NBC Chicago/Associated Press