Jul 5, 2012 1 Comment ›› Pat Dollard
A condition referred to as “exhaustion” and “grappling with emotional ailments privately”, and requiring the type of long-term inpatient care (read: rehab) his office describes below, is always alcohol and/or drug abuse…
Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D., Ill.) is undergoing inpatient treatment for “physical and emotional ailments” that are more serious than previously thought, his office said in a news release Thursday.
The congressman’s office had said on June 25 that the 47-year-old son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson had begun a leave of absence on June 10, citing exhaustion and providing no timeline for his return.
“Congressman Jackson’s medical condition is more serious than we thought and initially believed,” the office said in Thursday’s release. “Recently, we have been made aware that he has grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time.” It also said, “According to the preliminary diagnosis from his doctors, Congressman Jackson will need to receive extended in-patient treatment as well as continuing medical treatment thereafter.”
An earlier, still briefer statement from Mr. Jackson’s office on June 25 had suggested a less dire assessment, saying that Mr. Jackson, 47, was being treated “for exhaustion” and had been on medical leave since June 10. That statement asked that his family’s privacy be respected.
The statement didn’t say where Rep. Jackson, who was first elected in 1995, is being treated nor did it specify his ailments.
The House ethics committee has been investigating Rep. Jackson’s alleged involvement with the scheme by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to sell President Barack Obama‘s former U.S. Senate seat.
Rep. Jackson’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Debbie Halvorson, the Democratic former congresswoman Jackson defeated in the March primary election in the 2nd Congressional District, said the limited releases leave too many questions unanswered.
“He owes it to his constituents to let them know what’s really going on in his life,” Halvorson said. “When he asks people to keep him in their thoughts and prayers, nobody knows what to pray about … I was in the hospital a couple times when I was state senator. I told people where I was. You don’t have a private life when you’re a public official.”
Brian Woodworth, Jackson’s Republican opponent in the Nov. 6 general election, agreed.
“When you have a condition that starts to impact on your service as a representative, I think you need to get that out,” Woodworth said. “The voters need to be able to judge. We see Sen. Mark Kirk and other congressmen have been very open.”