Jesse Jackson Jr. Returns To Mayo Clinic, Colleagues Urge Patience
By Samantha Abernethy in News on Oct 23, 2012 3:20PM
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Chicago) is on his way back to the Mayo Clinic for his second round of treatment for bipolar disorder since he took a leave of absence from Congress in June.
Fellow Congressmen Bobby Rush (D-Chicago) and Danny K. Davis (D-Chicago) held a press conference Thursday afternoon to confirm Jackson's return to the clinic in Minnesota where he stayed from July until September.
Over the weekend, rumors swirled that Rep. Jackson Jr. would return to the Mayo Clinic to avoid pressure from the media camped out in front of his home. "His home is under attack," Rush said. Jesse Jackson Sr. confirmed to the Associated Press that the congressman would be returning to the clinic for a check-up and "has not regained his balance altogether."
Rush and Davis said they met with Jackson Jr. and asked the public to "give him a chance to heal."
“I remember a fella named Job who got sick during the Biblical days,” Davis said. “And Job’s friends went to see him because they thought that he must have done something that was terrible to have this illness heaped upon him. Turned out that Job had not done anything!”
Rush, meanwhile, likened Jackson’s situation to that of Bulls star Derrick Rose, who is recovering from a knee injury.
“Nobody is clamoring for Derrick Rose to come back before the doctors say he should come back,” Rush said.
Federal investigators revealed last week that the congressman is under scrutiny for allegedly using campaign funds for personal use. This scandal is unrelated to the other ongoing federal investigation of Jackson Jr.'s involvement in the Rod Blagojevich scandal. As if that weren't enough scandal for one week, Gawker reported Jackson Jr. was spotted twice at a bar in Washington, D.C., with two different women.
Jackson Jr. did speak to one of those members of the media camping out in front of his house last wee. He didn't say much, but it's the most words to come straight from his mouth in a long time. In June Jackson Jr. didn't publicly announce his medical leave of absence until three weeks after it began. Rush defended that decision yesterday, saying, “He did not have time to respond ... He went to the emergency room and then they decided to take him out of state for a while. He didn’t have a chance to figure out what he was going to say to the media and what he was going to say to the political establishment."
Rush also said Congress has only been in session a total of 32 days since Jackson left, and his constituency hasn't suffered.
In the meantime, Jackson Jr.'s invisible reelection campaign continues. A robo-call from the congressman last week asked constituents for patience and said, "I am starting to heal. The good news is my health is improving, but my doctors tell me the road to recovery is a long one."