Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., was transferred to a rehabilitation facility, and his wife, Jacqueline, was moved to the intensive care unit at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital as both continue to battle COVID-19, according to a statement issued by family Friday afternoon.
As the civil rights leader's "COVID-19 symptoms abate," he was moved to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to begin intensive occupational and physical therapy for his Parkinson's disease, the couple's son Jonathan Jackson said.
Jacqueline Jackson, 77, is breathing on her own and receiving increased oxygen in the ICU, but is not on a ventilator. Jacqueline Jackson has not been vaccinated, according to longtime family spokesman Frank Watkins. He declined to elaborate.
The couple, married nearly 60 years, were admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with COVID-19, family members announced Saturday, Aug. 21, with their age as a factor.
Jacqueline Jackson is also a civil rights activist who has traveled worldwide to advocate for causes. The couple has five children together.
"Both of our parents are continuing to receive excellent medical care," Jonathan Jackson said Friday. "We urge that you continue to keep them in your prayers because we know this is a serious disease."
Jesse Jackson, 79, a protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King, has remained active in calling for voting rights and other issues in recent years, even after disclosing a Parkinson's diagnosis in 2017. During the pandemic, he has encouraged others, particularly Black people, to get COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccination rates among Black people have lagged behind white people.
Jesse Jackson received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in January at a hospital on Chicago's South Side.