Nearly a week after his family revealed he had been hospitalized with COVID-19, civil rights leader Rev Jesse Jackson has been transferred to a rehab facility, while his wife, Jacqueline, has been moved to the intensive care unit.
The Jacksons’ family said Friday afternoon that Rev. Jackson’s COVID-19 symptoms have begun to abate, and his Parkinson’s disease, which was diagnosed years ago, “has become more in focus.”
“Therefore, he has been transferred to The Shirley Ryan Ability Lab where he will immediately begin intensive occupational and physical therapy,” Rev. Jackson’s son, Jonathan, said in a statement.
Meantime, Jacqueline Johnson remains hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and has been moved to the intensive care unit, where she is receiving oxygen treatment, but is still breathing on her own.
“Both of our parents are continuing to receive excellent medical care. We urge that you continue to keep them in your prayers because we know this is a serious disease,” Jonathan Jackson said. “We continue to receive the love that is being poured out to our family from around the world and it is greatly appreciated, as we express our love and concern for the millions of people who have been victimized by the COVID-19 virus and its variants. We know this is a dangerous disease so please remain prayerful for all of those who are suffering as a result.”
The Jackson family also urged people who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Rev. Jackson and his wife were admitted to the hospital last weekend, after both tested positive for the virus.
Rev. Jackson, 79, was fully vaccinated, according to a representative for Roseland Community Hospital, where he received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Jan. 8. At the time he got his first shot, Jackson held a news conference to encourage other elderly people to get their shots.
Jacqueline Jackson had not been vaccinated.
Friday night, Marin Luther King III called on the world to pray for Jackson Sr. and his wife.
“We’ve seen him all over the country and made so many sacrifices so that many things that exist today exist for all of us,” he said. “So Rev. Jackson and Mrs. Jackson, so our prayers continue to be lifted up like so many others around the nation and world.”
King is the son of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The elder King and Jackson marched and worked feverishly for U.S. civil rights up until King’s assassination in 1968.