Rainbow Push Coalition announces Jesse Jackson, wife Jacqueline in hospital with Covid-19

The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline, were hospitalized in Chicago Saturday with Covid-19 in what appears to be a breakthrough case as Jackson, a vaccine advocate for the black community, was vaccinated with Pfizer in January of this year.

The two, Jackson, 79 and Jacqueline, 77 are being treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital though Jackson’s civil rights organization, The Rainbow Push Coalition, did not mention whether the pair’s symptoms were what required their hospitalization.

“Doctors are currently monitoring the condition of both. Anyone who has been around either of them for the last five or six days should follow the CDC guidelines,” the coalition said in a statement.

Jackson publicized his January vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine in an effort to encourage the black community to get vaccinated.

“On Friday [January 8, 2021], I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I was honored to be accompanied by Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, the brilliant African-American viral immunologist who is a rock star in the field of immunology science…[Corbett] is working to overcome the widespread hesitancy in the black community about vaccination. Vaccination is imperative to save lives, particularly for African Americans, disproportionately the greatest victims of the virus,”the Rev. explained a statement on his decision.

Jackson discussed the racial disparities that make black Americans more susceptible to contracting the virus. He highlighted statistics that show the black community has suffered a hospitalization rate 3.7 times greater and a death rate 2.8 times greater than the white community.

The Reverend expressed that many poverty-stricken urban communities are health care deserts and that African Americans are disproportionately essential workers who are at far greater risk of contracting the virus.

Dr. Corbett was open and direct in addressing the root of much of the vaccine hesitancy in the black community.

“We know our history, and we understand from where this hesitancy comes,” Dr. Corbett told the Chicago Sun-Times, referring to the Tuskegee Experiments, “On the one hand, we are the communities most plagued by the pandemic. On the other hand, we are communities least likely to get vaccinated.”

Jackson and Jacqueline’s hospitalization comes just days after Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky claimed that while the vaccine works well to prevent hospitalizations, the CDC is “seeing concerning evidence of waning vaccine effectiveness over time and against the delta variant.” She cited reports of international colleagues, including Israel “suggest increased risk of severe disease amongst those vaccinated early.”

Walensky announced a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, a booster, coming next month to help boost Americans’ immunity.

Despite the vaccination push by notable figures like Jackson, Americans are tired of the hypocrisy from a government so willing to impede Americans’ freedoms and personal decisions despite the long-term uncertainty that surrounds their solutions.

The CDC director all but admitted that the vaccine’s efficacy rate has a strict time limit, and its protections are limited in the ever-changing environment, all while continuing to emphasize that “our vaccines continue to offer the best protection against severe Covid illness.”

If that were truly the case, it’s fair to ask why are those who complied and received the jab for the promise of a return to normalcy now being forced to mask up and resume precautions that were previously reserved for the unvaccinated?

The Jacksons’ age put them at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Jackson announced in 2017 that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

No further information has been given on the Reverend or his wife’s condition. The Rainbow Push Coalition noted that updates will be provided as they become available.

Kay Apfel

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