Reverend Jesse Jackson said his son’s condition turned out to be much more serious than the family originally thought when it was released that he was suffering from “exhaustion.”
Rev. Jackson finally came forward to discuss his son’s ongoing treatment at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, where he has been admitted to a residential facility to be treated for depression. In an interview with HuffPost Live, Jackson Sr. offered some explanation for the initially unclear conditions of Jackson Jr.’s departure from Washington. The Illinois representative had taken a leave of absence from the house in July for undisclosed medical reasons, leaving both supporters and fellow lawmakers to ponder his condition. It was only last week that Jackson Jr. released a statement disclosing his illness and location.
“What we thought to be quote-unquote exhaustion was something much deeper, much broader and it lasted much longer,” the elder Jackson told HuffPost Live’s representatives on Thursday. Though he came on to verify his son’s treatment, he made it clear that he would not be taking a political stance regarding his son’s condition. HuffPost’s Marc Lamont Hill asked Jackson Sr. whether recent political scandals could have led to the onset of Jackson Jr.’s depression, something the reverend would neither confirm nor deny.
“My first [priority] is his health, not his politics,” Jackson said. “That’s for the psychiatrist to deal with. You don’t quite know. And so I leave that type of analysis to the doctors.”
Jackson Jr. is currently the subject of a House Ethic Committee investigation, after Jackson allegedly helped raise funds for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in an attempt to gain the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. Blagojevich was convicted of corruption in the same scandal, and is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence. Jackson has maintained his innocence throughout the situation. His father offered nothing but support during the HuffPost interview.
“I come to this as a father who loves his son very much and wants him to get the best medical care and the time he needs to regain his strength,” he