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Jesse Jackson Released, Saying Vaccine Saved His Life

Case of COVID still affected his ability to walk and talk
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 22, 2021 5:45 AM CDT
Updated Sep 22, 2021 6:40 PM CDT
Jesse Jackson and Wife Hospitalized for COVID
Rev. Jesse Jackson receives the Pfizer's BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

(Newser) Update: The Rev. Jesse Jackson was sent home Wednesday after being hospitalized for a breakthrough COVID-19 infection and intensive physical therapy for Parkinson's disease. He and his wife, Jacqueline, were first hospitalized in August; she has not been vaccinated for COVID-19 and required oxygen before she was released. Before leaving, Jesse Jackson joked with medical personnel, asking if he's cleared to march again, the AP reports. But the illness affected his ability to walk and talk, Jackson said. "The shot protected me from death," he said. Our original story from last month follows:

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a famed civil rights leader and two-time presidential candidate, and his wife, Jacqueline, have been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a statement Saturday. Per the AP, Jesse Jackson, 79, is vaccinated against the virus and received his first dose in January during a publicized event as he urged others to receive the inoculation as soon as possible. He and his wife, 77, are being treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “Doctors are currently monitoring the condition of both,” according to the statement from Jesse Jackson's nonprofit, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. “There are no further updates at this time," the statement said. "We will provide updates as they become available.”

A protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson was key in guiding the modern civil rights movement on numerous issues, including voting rights. Despite having been diagnosed for Parkinson’s disease, Jackson has remained active, and has advocated for COVID-19 vaccines for Black people, who lag behind white people in the United States’ vaccination drive. Earlier this month, he was arrested outside the US Capitol during a demonstration calling for Congress to end the filibuster in order to support voting rights. (Read more Jesse Jackson stories.)

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