Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., whose disappearance from Congress last month on medical leave prompted wide speculation, is being treated for depression at the Mayo Clinic, according to a statement from the hospital.
The Illinois Democrat, 47, is undergoing “extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues,” the statement said. It did not say where Jackson had previously been staying, only that he “has arrived at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota,” according to the Associated Press.
Jackson has been on medical leave since June 10, though his office did not disclose that until several weeks later. He was initially said to be undergoing treatment for “exhaustion,” but his staff later announced his condition was “more serious” than previously thought — without saying specifically what was wrong. Rev. Jesse Jackson also declined to discuss his son’s situation, saying it would be “inappropriate” to do so, but denied a report that he attempted suicide.
Amid mounting pressure from fellow lawmakers to disclose his whereabouts, Jackson’s office finally said earlier this month he was undergoing treatment for a “mood disorder.”
The Mayo Clinic statement did not provide any additional details about Jackson’s condition, Reuters reported, including whether the “gastrointestinal issues” are related to the gastric bypass surgery he underwent in 2004 for weight loss.
“Further information will be released as Congressman Jackson’s evaluation proceeds,” the statement said, noting that he and his family were “grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers that have been received throughout his care.”
The timing of Jackson’s medical leave has raised additional questions, as he is currently under congressional investigation for allegedly offering to raise campaign cash for then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for being appointed to Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.
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