Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Plenty of Hope, Little Info for Jackson

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Plenty of Hope, Little Info for Jackson

Photos and Videos

Gutierrez: Time for JJJ to Come Clean

Rep. Luis Gutierrez and the Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke Tuesday about Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s extended, mysterious leave of absence. Phil Rogers reports.

Rev. Jackson Shares Little Detail About Son's Condition

Rev. Jesse Jackson joins us in Studio 5 to talk about Rainbow Push Coalition's 41st Annual Conference today. He also spoke briefly about his son's ongoing medical condition that's kept him from work for the past month. Rev. Jackson will not reveal what his son is suffering from, but said Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is under medical supervision and is taking time to recover.
More Photos and Videos

As the political tempest continues to swirl over Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s absence, calls for more information about his whereabouts echoed Wednesday through the hallways of the Capitol.

Even Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House Minority Whip, agreed it was time for Jackson to be more forthcoming with information about his medical condition.

“I think Congressman Jackson and his office and his family would be well advised to advise his constituents of his condition,” said Hoyer.  “He’s obviously facing a health problem.”

Hoyer noted that many members of congress get sick and miss work.

“Everybody in America understands that that.  But I think his family would be well advised to give his constituents as much information as possible.”

Jackson's wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, told NBC Chicago by text she is "in consultation with his doctors and is hoping more information will be released soon.”

Ald. Jackson added, “it’s important to note he is on Medical Leave which is protected status under federal law. Everyone is entitled to sick leave!”

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, now the Minority Leader, rose to Jackson’s defense, calling him a “valued member of congress,” and saying he should offer information when he deems it appropriate.

“How many legislative days has he not been here?” Pelosi asked. “The time is right when congressman Jackson has an evaluation of what his situation is, and I’m sure then he will share it with his constituents.”

Gov. Pat Quinn also said Wednesday he would not call for more information to be released.

"The people of Illinois have good hearts," Quinn said after signing a ban of legislative scholarships. "I pray for Jesse Jackson Jr. every day."

Multiple other politicians recently urged the congressman to release more information after Jackson Jr.'s office announced June 26 he was being treated for exhaustion.

"[Jackson’s] health is a number one priority,” Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday. "As a public official though, there reaches a point where you have a public responsibility to tell people what you’re facing and how things are going.”

"Look, let’s not kid ourselves, he’s going to have to answer these questions," Sen. Luis Gutierrez said Tuesday. "Why don’t we just know what it is?"

The only other communication from Jackson's office came in the form of a second statement issued last week noting Jackson Jr.'s condition is "more serious than we thought and initially believed." 

His office also stated he was undergoing evaluation and treatment at an "in-patient medical facility." But it's still unclear where or for what.

So far Jackson Jr.'s family has remained mum on the condition as well. Rev. Jesse Jackson called providing more details "inappropriate," and wife Sandi Jackson said only that she thinks of her children and she loves her husband "very much."

Some residents and politicians are getting impatient, though.

Lance Davis of the New Zion Christian Fellowship in Dolton told NBC Chicago he wonders who represents them.

"And if he has a personal issue, then let us hear about it," Davis said. "Let us know what it is. We at least deserve that."

As the plot thickens, Democratic sources told Politico Jackson may not return to work until the fall or at all.

Leave Comments