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Opinion, Politics

Jesse Jackson Jr. on mysterious medical leave of absence

Jackson’s condition said to have worsened

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has some explaining to do. The Democrat Illinois Representative took a leave of absence more than a month ago, but his office has not confirmed the definite reason and has been vague with the circumstances.

A source for Jesse Jackson Jr., 47, said his staff and doctors may provide information on his condition soon, even as early as today, NPR’s David Schaper first reported. Jesse Jackson Jr. has provided some information about his condition, however. On June 25, his office released a brief statement saying he was being treated for exhaustion.

The office for Jesse Jackson Jr. also issued another statement saying his condition has worsened and become more serious than previously thought, saying he has been battling “certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time” and will require extended impatient treatment. Jackson has been on medical leave since June 10.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jackson Jr.’s father, also told Schaper, “The crisis is deeper than we thought it was. But the good news is he’s under good supervision. He’s been in touch with his mother and his wife, and he’s on the rebound. To me, that’s the good news about it all.”

Despite small statements on Jesse Jackson Jr.’s condition, other representatives are calling for a better explanation.

“I think that he has a responsibility to give us more information, and I’m not demanding that information, but I think the people of his congressional district deserve it,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez  said. “The people of Illinois deserve it. If he’s going to stand for re-election, you guys [reporters] are going to demand it.”

Jesse Jackson Jr. is up for re-election in November in the Chicago district.

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