Rev. Jesse Jackson and wife, Jacqueline, have COVID-19

They were admitted Saturday to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to a spokesman for the Jacksons, who could not elaborate on their condition.

SHARE Rev. Jesse Jackson and wife, Jacqueline, have COVID-19

The Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks at a voting rights rally earlier this month in Washington, D.C.


The Rev. Jesse Jackson, 79, and his wife, Jacqueline, 77, have been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a news release from Operation PUSH.

The Jacksons were admitted Saturday to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and doctors were monitoring their conditions, but a spokesman for them could not provide any additional information.

The reverend received his first COVID-19 vaccination shot publicly in early January as part of an effort to combat distrust of the vaccine among the Black community. He was joined at the event by viral immunologist Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Corbett, who helped lead the National Institutes of Health team that developed Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

“I was honored to receive my first dose, and I strongly urge others to join me,” Jackson wrote in his Sun-Times column after being vaccinated.


Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Corbett, the Black woman who co-led the National Institutes of Health team that discovered Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, lends a supportive hand Friday as the Rev. Jesse Jackson receives the vaccine from Roseland Community Hospital physician Kiran Chekka. It’s part of efforts by Black community leaders to battle distrust of the vaccine in that community.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file

It’s the second time the civil rights leader, who also has Parkinson’s disease, has been hospitalized this year.

He spent eight days at Northwestern in January after undergoing surgery for an undisclosed condition. After he was released from the hospital, he spent more than three weeks at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab because he had been unable to walk after surgery.

Since then, he has remained active in public. Earlier this month, Jackson was arrested outside the U.S. Capitol during a demonstration calling for Congress to end the filibuster to help support voting rights.

Operation PUSH has worked to educate the Black community about the COVID-19 vaccination. During its annual convention earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel promoted the vaccination as the safest, most effective way to end the coronavirus pandemic.

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