Coronavirus: Rev. Jesse Jackson released from Chicago facility

CHICAGO — The Rev. Jesse Jackson was discharged from a Chicago facility on Wednesday after receiving therapy for Parkinson’s disease while he recovered from COVID-19.

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Jackson, 79, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021, WMAQ reported. The longtime civil rights activist received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine but tested positive, along with his wife, in late August and was hospitalized. Jacqueline Jackson, 77, was not vaccinated and required oxygen and a brief intensive care unit stay before she was released on Sept. 6, according to The Associated Press. She did not need a ventilator.

Jesse Jackson was discharged from the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He had been transferred to the facility to undergo occupational and physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease as his COVID-19 symptoms waned, the newspaper reported.

“Both my parents are ever so thankful for all of the prayers, cards and calls they have received during this very trying period of their lives,” Jesse Jackson’s son, Jonathan Jackson, said in a statement released by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, which was founded by his father. “We are also thankful for the excellent Northwestern Memorial Hospital medical team that treated our parents for COVID-19, and the professional and excellent therapy our father received while at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. We know it is a miracle that both of our parents are now COVID-19 survivors, and we thank God for his healing.

“We also pray for the millions of people who have been infected with this virus and pray they too will also overcome. We also pray for those families who have lost their loved ones to the coronavirus and pray for their spiritual and emotional healing as well.”

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Jesse Jackson, who was born in October 1941 in Greenville, South Carolina, was hospitalized for abdominal discomfort in February, the Greenville News reported.

Jackson underwent surgery after a routine medical observation, the newspaper reported. In 2017 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, CNN reported.

A protege of Martin Luther King Jr., Jackson has been a civil rights activist for more than a half-century. In 1996 he merged his National Rainbow Coalition and Operation PUSH organizations into Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

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Jackson was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988.

In 1965, Jackson went to Selma, Alabama, to march with King and became a worker in the civil rights leader’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, according to

Jackson was in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, when King was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

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