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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is "responding" to treatment for physical and emotional issues that have kept him on medical leave from Congress since June, but there’s still no schedule for his release, Rev. Jesse Jackson said after visiting his son earlier this week.
The Illinois Democrat went on leave for "exhaustion" on June 10, and his staff released a statement several weeks later announcing that he was being treated for physical and emotional issues. After spending more than a month at the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona, Jackson entered the Mayo Clinic on July 25, where he’s being treated for depression and gastrointestinal issues.
"It’s not the kind of health challenge that you can put on a timetable, but he is responding as he seeks to regain his strength," Rev. Jackson told the Chicago Tribune. He batted away questions about his son’s return to work and refused to discuss whether he would stand for re-election on Nov. 6.
In her first interview since her husband’s collapse, Sandi Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times that the congressman was "debilitated by depression" when he collapsed in Washington on June 10. She denied rumors that her husband’s collapse was related to alcohol or drug addiction or attempted suicide, but mentioned that his condition could relate to a weight-loss surgery he had in 2004. She expects him to return to work, "but not a day before the doctor says it’s OK."
Although Jackson has been kept in what his wife described as a "news blackout," he hasn’t been completely cut off from Congress. Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich circulated get-well cards on the House floor, gathering at least 200 signatures from lawmakers and staffers.*
*Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified Dennis Kucinich as an Indiana congressman. He represents the state of Ohio.