Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) is now facing pressure from his own party to come forth about his medical condition, which has kept him on a leave of absence from Congress, while his aides are busy denying rumors that the embattled lawmaker has attempted suicide.
During Jackson’s month-long leave from Capitol Hill, his office has released little information about his health, but one of the Illinois congressman’s aides went on the Chicago WLS talk radio show Roe & Roeper to deny recent claims that Jackson had tried to take his own life.
The aide told ABC News that Jackson won’t likely return to Congress until after Labor Day. The senior aid added that [Jackson] is genuinely suffering from “exhaustion,” and that he is receiving treatment at an in-patient facility “life-threatening ailments.” The aide, who only agreed to speak on anonymity, said:
“He [Jackson] doesn’t get a lot of sleep and he has sleep disorders. He’s very energetic, running full-steam ahead, working six or seven days a week often and he’s been doing that for a long time,” the source said. “There’s a great deal of pressure on him due to unfounded allegations and negative press onslaught against him that are not true, so it kinda all caught up to him. He needed downtime to get away from grind.”
As of this morning, Jackson’s father, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., has been the only family member to speak out about the Congressman’s situation. Rev. Jackson said “The crisis is deeper than we thought it was. But the good news is, he’s under good supervision. He’s been in touch with his mother and his wife, and he’s on the rebound. To me, that’s the good news about it all,” according to NPR.
Several of Jackson’s Congressional colleagues have demanded he come forward with more detailed information.
The Senate’s number-two Democrat, Dick Durbin, said,”As a public official, there comes a point when you have a responsibility to tell the public what’s going on.”
Durbin, a fellow Illinois lawmaker, added, “If there is some medical necessity for him not to say more at this moment than I will defer to that… But he will have to soon make a report on what he’s struggling with.’
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, (D-IL) said, “I think that he has a responsibility to give us more information, and I’m not demanding that information, but I think the people of his congressional district deserve it.”
Last week, Jackson’s office released a statement saying that the veteran representative’s condition is more serious than previously thought, adding that he had been grappling with “certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time,” and that he would require extended inpatient treatment.
Now a top aide is telling reporters we will have the full story “soon.”
Jackson has been embroiled in an ongoing ethics investigation about whether or not he illegally sought to be awarded President Obama’s former Senate seat four years ago. He is up for re-election in Illinois’ 2nd district in November.