CHICAGO (AP) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been transferred to a hospital focused on physical rehabilitation after receiving treatment for a breakthrough COVID-19 infection while his wife, Jacqueline, has been moved to an intensive care unit, according to a family statement released Friday.
Jonathan Jackson, one of the couple’s five children, said that his father’s COVID-19 symptoms are abating.
Jackson has Parkinson’s disease and Jonathan Jackson said he will receive “intensive occupational and physical therapy” at The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.
Jacqueline Jackson is not on a ventilator but is receiving increased oxygen in the ICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Jonathan Jackson said.
“Both of our parents are continuing to receive excellent medical care,” he said. “We urge that you continue to keep them in your prayers because we know this is a serious disease.”
Jesse Jackson is 79, and Jacqueline is 77. They were admitted to the hospital on Saturday.
Jackson, a famed civil rights leader and former presidential candidate, is vaccinated against the virus. He received his first dose during a publicized event where he urged others to receive the vaccine too.
Jackson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Jacqueline, also a civil rights activist, has not been vaccinated. He said his wife didn’t get vaccinated because she has a “preexisting condition” they were worried about. He did not elaborate.
Generally, public health experts strongly encourage people with existing health conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, to get vaccinated as they are at increased risk for severe illness.
Family members have said the Jacksons were admitted to the hospital in part because of their age and that both have been responding positively to treatment. They have been married nearly 60 years.