CHICAGO (Reuters) - Embattled U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., who is being treated for bipolar disorder, will return to the Mayo Clinic this week for a re-evaluation by his doctors, his father, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, said on Sunday.
The civil rights leader and former presidential candidate did not give a specific day when his son, a nine-term Illinois Democrat, would return to the clinic, or say whether he would be re-admitted to the facility.
“That has not yet been determined. It’s a re-evaluation of his status and that will then determine what should happen,” the elder Jackson told Reuters.
Congressman Jackson, 47, was treated for at least six weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, this summer for bipolar disorder, a psychological condition marked by extreme mood swings, and has been on medical leave from the House of Representatives since June.
Since leaving the hospital last month to continue his recovery at home in Washington, the lawmaker has been seeing two doctors a day and “struggling with his own desire to get back to his work, which ... seems to be premature if he does not have strength to handle that challenge,” his father said.
The younger Jackson made his first public statement about his absence in an automated “robocall” to constituents on Saturday, saying he was anxious to return to work.
“But at this time, it’s against medical advice. And while I will always give my all to my constituents, I ask you to continue with your patience as I work to get my health back,” he said.
Jackson’s congressional office confirmed on Wednesday that he remains on the ballot for the November 6 election, which he is favored to win. He has not been campaigning for the heavily Democratic Chicago-area seat he has held since 1995.
In addition to his health issues, Jackson has been the subject of a congressional ethics committee probe over an alleged bribe offered by a Jackson supporter in 2008 to then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The bribe was said to be intended to entice Blagojevich into appointing Jackson to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. Jackson has admitted to lobbying for the seat, but denied knowing about any money offered to Blagojevich, who has since been convicted on corruption charges and imprisoned.
According to news reports citing unnamed sources, Jackson is also under investigation by the FBI over possible misuse of campaign money. The FBI has not confirmed this.
Jackson’s Republican challenger, Brian Woodworth, urged voters to pray for Jackson’s recovery but said the district needs to elect someone who can be a voice for constituents.
His possible return to the Mayo Clinic shows “he is not getting better and it’s another indication that says he’s not going to be ready to serve, even when January comes around,” Woodworth told Reuters.
Repeated calls to Jackson’s congressional and campaign representatives went unanswered. His father said he could not give a timeline on when Jackson would recover and get back to work.
Reporting by Renita D. Young; Editing by Mary Wisniewski, Steve Gorman and Mohammad Zargham