Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., wife remain hospitalized for COVID-19 as faith leaders pray for recovery

ByJessica D'Onofrio, Leah Hope, and Alexis McAdams WLS logo
Monday, August 23, 2021
Prayers, support pour in for Rev. Jesse Jackson and wife
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Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and his wife continue to respond to treatment as they are hospitalized for COVID-19.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Reverend Jesse Jackson and his wife Jacqueline, remain hospitalized with COVID-19 Monday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Several local church leaders gathered at the hospital Monday morning to pray for Rev. Jackson and his wife, asking for healing.

"Dear God, we pray for total restoration," said Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church. "We pray for healing medicinal powers to invade their bodies so that they can continue to provide leadership, guidance and hope."

Jonathan Jackson, son of Rev. Jackson and Jacqueline, shared an update on his parent's condition Sunday with ABC7.

"She had been real lethargic with flu-like symptoms [and] went to the hospital Friday," he said. "Then it was diagnosed that she and my dad both had contracted COVID."

According to the family, the couple is now resting comfortably and responding positively to treatment.

"She is having some oxygen, but is able to function and breathe on her own without a respirator," Jonathan said. "Nothing severe. Because of her age and her current health, it is more challenging."

Reverend Jackson, who is 79, was fully vaccinated back in January, receiving two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Jackson was diagnosed with Parkinson's back in 2017.

A spokesperson for Rainbow Push says Jaqueline Jackson, who is 77, is not vaccinated.

A small prayer circle was held outside Northwestern memorial Hospital Monday afternoon. They shared gratitude and hoped others would join them in a national day of prayer for the Jacksons.

"When I was a little boy a country preacher told me I am somebody, and I believed him and it gave my life purpose," said Eric Russell, Tree of Life.

"His love for not just Blacks but whites and everyone is shown by actions," said Dr. Matt Harrington, lines 4 Lives.

"He fought and prayed for so many, this is the least we can do to invoke some divine intervention," said Rev. Ira Acree.

Passersby also added well wishes on a giant car.

"I care for the health and wellness of a community leaderless, so yes of course I hope he recovers and gets better," said Shelu Bhandari.

Last month Jackson was awarded one of Frances Honors for a lifetime of activism for the rights of workers, teachers, coal miners, prisoners of war to name a few.

The Jackson family knows the battle is not over yet.

"This is vicious and it can turn quickly, so we are trying to stay upbeat and optimistic. But, I have seen this thing turn on a dime. You really just do not know," Jonathan said.