The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been moved to a physical rehabilitation center, while his wife Jacqueline was transferred to the intensive care unit at the hospital where the two were undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
The 79-year-old political activist and minister and his 77-year-old wife were admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago last weekend.
Family members said in a statement Friday that Jacqueline Jackson was moved to the ICU and was receiving oxygen, but breathing on her own.
The statement said that Jesse Jackson’s coronavirus symptoms were subsiding, and that a hospital focused on physical rehabilitation due to his Parkinson’s disease.
“As his COVID-19 symptoms abate, his Parkinson’s has become more in focus. Therefore, he has been transferred to The Shirley Ryan Ability Lab where he will immediately begin intensive occupational and physical therapy,” said a statement from Jonathan Jackson, through the Rainbow Push Coalition.
The reverend was vaccinated against COVID-19 in January, in a public campaign to encourage black Americans to get the shot. A month after getting vaccinated, Jackson underwent gallbladder surgery.
Jackson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his wife was not vaccinated when she contracted the virus due a “preexisting condition” that he would not elaborate on. She had been responding well to her treatments earlier in the week, according to the family.
“Both of our parents are continuing to receive excellent medical care,” the Friday statement said. “We urge that you continue to keep them in your prayers because we know this is a serious disease.”
The family also urged “all who have not yet been vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus to do so immediately,” in the statement.