Rev. Jackson Says His Son Is Not Ready To Return To Congress
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UPDATED 09/08/12 1:07 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson says his son will not be ready to return to Congress in the immediate future.
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) is at his Washington, D.C., home with his family, after being released from the Mayo Clinic. He was treated at the clinic for Bipolar II depression and a gastrointestinal ailment.
It has not known when Rep. Jackson will return to Congress. But speaking to reporters Saturday morning — inlcuding CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli and WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser — the senior Jackson said it will not be immediate.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
Jackson says his son is under tight medical supervision in Washington, and will not be back at work on Monday.
“I hope he’s not moving too early,” Rev. Jackson said. “The disorder he has faced does not lend itself to a set timetable, and I hope that he does not rush to process. There was some report he’d be back to work Monday. That is not true.”
Rev. Jackson says his son is undergoing reconstruction and regaining his strength, and while he wants to get back to Congress, he has to take time out right now.
“I hope he does not move quickly, because he’s so anxious to function; so anxious to work. He’s programmed in that direction. He wants to serve. I think his people have been quite generous to him in terms of giving him time,” Rev. Jackson said. “But my concern is that of a father. I have no interest in the political timetable. It’s his health timetable, and there is no date certain for that.”
The Rev. Jackson hopes his son will commit to thinking about recovering first.
“Our appeal is that he keep his health first and not move prematurely,” Rev. Jackson said. “It would be disastrous for him to have a setback in regaining his strength.”
It also remains unknown when Rep. Jackson will resume campaigning for re-election.
Rev. Jackson said his son’s recent diagnosis warrants greater attention on depression, bipolar disorder and other such conditions.
“Because of his prominence, we must now look at just how pervasive trauma is – depression, bipolar,” Jackson said. “I must admit, I was not so aware. But lately, how many people have come to me saying, ‘My sister’s bipolar, or my brother’s bipolar, or they come from the military and they are traumatized.”
Rep. Jackson has been on medical leave since June 10. The reasons for his absence were not revealed until last month, when the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., confirmed that he was there being treated for Bipolar II depression and a gastrointestinal ailment.
Rep. Jackson’s aides had initially said his absence was due to “exhaustion,” then later explained he was suffering unspecified “physical and emotional ailments.”
About a month before the Mayo Clinic statement, his office said he was suffering an unspecified “mood disorder.”