Community continues to pray for Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife who are hospitalized with COVID-19

Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife have been hospitalized at Northwestern with COVID-19 since Friday. 

Family members say they are "responding positively" to daily treatments as the faith community continues to pray for their recovery.

"To see Rev. Jackson and his wife struck with COVID-19 is heartbreaking and jarring and has hit home for many of us who have been personally mentored by him and inspired by his life's work," said Rev. Ira Acree of the Greater St. John Bible Church, where he led a prayer service Wednesday.

Both Rev. Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline, are in their late 70s, both hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Although Jacqueline is reportedly unvaccinated, Rev. Jackson was very public about getting vaccinated this past January, encouraging others to do the same.  

The family hasn't shared specific updates on their exact conditions and the nature of their treatment. 

Doctors at Northwestern say those factors vary patient-to-patient.

"A lot of the therapies are based on the severity of the illness and how much oxygen they're requiring," said Dr. Michael Bauer, Medical Director at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.  


Dr. Bauer says seven weeks ago, his staff celebrated "zero" COVID patients at the hospital. On Wednesday there were 27, and that number keeps going up.

"We're really seeing a different cohort now," Bauer said. "The vast majority are unvaccinated. Far and away the largest percentage: unvaccinated."

Rev. Jackson's son Jonathan released a statement, saying in part: 

"We feel and are deeply appreciative of the love that is being poured out to our family from around the world... we know this is a serious and dangerous disease so please remain prayerful for my parents and all those who are suffering as a result."

The Jacksons reportedly recently traveled to Texas, where COVID numbers have surged and the hospital system in some areas is overwhelmed. 

Dr. Bauer says if you travel to a state like that, be sure to avoid any large indoor gatherings.