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Jesse Jackson and wife, Jacqueline, 'responding positively' to Covid-19 treatment

Doctors were carefully monitoring the two because of their ages, one of their sons said Sunday.
Jesse Jackson, Kiran Chekka
The Rev. Jesse Jackson gets a Covid-19 vaccine shot in January at Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline, are “responding positively” to medical treatment after having been hospitalized with Covid-19, their family said Sunday.

Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago were “carefully monitoring” their conditions because of their ages, said their son Jonathan Jackson. Jesse Jackson is 79, and Jacqueline Jackson is 77.

“Both are resting comfortably and are responding positively to their treatment,” he said in a statement.

He did not say what treatments his parents were receiving or how they contracted the coronavirus.

Jesse Jackson has been fully vaccinated, receiving his first shot in January at a public event where he urged others to do the same. But Jacqueline Jackson has not been vaccinated, according to longtime family spokesman Frank Watkins. He declined to elaborate Monday.

Jesse Jackson's positive test is an example of high-profile “breakthrough” cases, which public health experts say are rare and expected and usually result in mild symptoms.

Fully vaccinated people who become seriously ill or die from the disease tend to be older or to have compromised immune systems, experts say.

Jesse Jackson, who founded the civil rights organization Rainbow Push Coalition in 1971 and twice ran for president in the 1980s, announced in 2017 that he has Parkinson’s disease.

The organization announced Saturday that the Jacksons had been hospitalized for Covid-19.

CORRECTION (Aug. 26, 2021, 4:40 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the vaccination status of Jacqueline Jackson. She had not been vaccinated at the time of her hospitalization for Covid-19.