Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and his wife, Jacqueline, were both said to have been making progress regarding their health approximately one week after being hospitalized for COVID-19, according to a statement from family.
Jacqueline Jackson, 77, remains hospitalized as of Monday, but was moved out of the intensive care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and into a “regular hospital room” where she continues to receive oxygen.
Jacqueline Jackson has not been vaccinated, longtime family spokesman Frank Watkins previously said. He declined to elaborate.
According to a statement issued Friday, Jesse Jackson’s COVID-19 symptoms began “to abate,” and he was moved to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to start intensive occupational and physical therapy for his Parkinson’s disease. As of Monday, the civil rights leader was continuing to receive therapy.
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.
“Both of our parents are continuing to receive excellent medical care, and we thank God for the progress that both seem to be making,” their son, Jonathan Jackson said in a statement Monday. “We urge that you continue to keep them in your prayers because we know this is a serious disease.
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.