Americans were shocked to learn on Saturday that famed Democrat and noted civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. — together with his wife Jacqueline Jackson — has been hospitalized after receiving positive COVID-19 test results, as Fox News reports.
According to a statement issued by Jackson’s nonprofit organization, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and authorized by the couple’s son, Jonathan, both husband and wife are currently undergoing treatment at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as local ABC affiliate WLS noted.
“Doctors are currently monitoring the condition of both. Anyone who has been around either of them for the last five or six days should follow the CDC guidelines,” the communication from Rainbow/PUSH explained, adding that while there were “no further updates” at the time, more information would be offered as it became available.
Reports indicate that Rev. Jackson and his wife are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the former receiving his first dose of the Pfizer shot back in January at a public event held at Chicago’s Roseland Community Hospital in which he urged communities of color to follow his lead, according to Black Enterprise.
At 79 and 77 years of age, respectively, Rev. and Mrs. Jackson are, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at heightened risk of severe illness stemming from COVID-19, and the famed civil rights leader was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in late 2017, making his health situation all the more fragile.
As news broke of the Jacksons’ health status on Saturday evening, reactions poured in from public figures including fellow activist Rev. Al Sharpton, who tweeted, “Let us all pray for Rev. and Mrs. Jesse Jackson. They need our sincere and intense prayers. Prayer changes things!!!”
Democrat Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also added her well-wishes to those concerned about the couple, posting on Twitter that she was “sending prayers and wishing a speedy recovery to @RevJJackson and his wife Jacqueline.”
Even at his advanced age and with his significant health concerns, Rev. Jackson has remained heavily involved in political activism in recent months, as evidenced by his arrest in early August while taking part in a voting rights demonstration in Washington, D.C.
Rev. Jackson was also arrested back in July, as the AP noted, for participating in a demonstration at the Phoenix, Arizona office of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in which he and others protested the lawmaker’s opposition to ending the chamber’s filibuster rules – a position almost certain to prevent the passage of sweeping election reforms championed by the far left.