Jesse Jackson and his wife remain hospitalized for COVID-19

The Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks to a crowd during a voting rights demonstration on Capitol Hill.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, shown Aug. 2 speaking during a voting rights demonstration on Capitol Hill, is being treated at a Chicago hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.
(Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press)

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline, remained hospitalized Monday after testing positive for COVID-19, family members said.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, 79, has been fully vaccinated, receiving his first shot in January at a public event where he urged others to do the same. But Jacqueline Jackson, 77, has not been vaccinated, according to longtime family spokesman Frank Watkins. He declined to elaborate Monday.

The couple, married nearly 60 years, were admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with their age as a factor, family members announced Saturday. A day later, their son Jonathan Jackson said both parents were resting comfortably at the hospital and “responding positively to their treatments.”


“The status of my parents has not changed,” Jonathan Jackson said in a Monday statement. “We are ever mindful that COVID-19 is a serious disease and we ask that you continue in prayer for my parents, as we remain prayerful for yours.”

Jacqueline Jackson is also a civil rights activist who has traveled worldwide to advocate for causes. The couple have five children together.

Jesse Jackson, 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.

After Jackson got his first dose in January at a community hospital on Chicago’s South Side, the crowd applauded.

“Take the vaccination,” Jackson said. “Now.”