Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, 79, who was fully vaccinated in January, and his 77-year-old wife, Jacqueline, remained hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, according to their son, Jonathan Jackson.
The Jacksons were “responding positively to treatments” at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, their son told The Associated Press.
“She had been real lethargic with flu-like symptoms [and] went to the hospital Friday,” Jonathan Jackson told ABC7. “Then it was diagnosed that she and my dad both had contracted COVID. She is having some oxygen, but is able to function and breathe on her own without a respirator. Nothing severe. Because of her age and her current health, it is more challenging.”
In a statement Monday, he added: “We are ever mindful that COVID-19 is a serious disease and we ask that you continue in prayer for my parents, as we remain prayerful for yours.”
A spokesperson for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a nonprofit and political action group founded by Jesse Jackson, told the network that Jaqueline Jackson is not vaccinated.
In a separate statement, the organization added: “There are no further updates at this time. We will provide updates as they become available.”
Jesse Jackson, the two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about four years ago and had received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton tweeted his support for the couple, writing: “Let us all pray for Rev. and Mrs Jesse Jackson. They need our sincere and intense prayers. Prayer changes things!!!”
Radio host Donnie Simpson wrote on Twitter Saturday night, “Praying tonight for Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline. They’re both in the hospital with COVID. No details on how bad the symptoms are, but the fact that they’re hospitalized tells me that our prayers are needed.”
A former Baptist minister, Jackson was also an aid to Martin Luther King Jr. and played a leading role in the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Speaking to activists in London about the civil rights struggle, Jackson said in 2013 that Jesus was an “occupier.”
“Jesus was an occupier, born under a death warrant, a Jew by religion, born in poverty under Roman occupation,” explained the veteran activist at the event near Saint Paul’s Cathedral, according to MSNBC.
He continued, “Gandhi was an occupier, Martin Luther King was an occupier, [Nelson] Mandela was an occupier.”
Jacqueline Jackson is also known for her civil rights activism who's advocated for numerous causes worldwide. The couple has five children together.