Sen. Durbin Says Rep. Jackson Jr. Owes Us An Explanation Over Illness

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) says Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) owes us a detailed explanation of his undisclosed health condition that has kept him on sick leave for nearly a month.

Last week Jackson’s office said the congressman’s condition is more serious than initially believed and that he will require extended in-patient treatment. “Recently, we have been made aware that he has grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time,” his office said. That came weeks after his office claimed Jackson was out for “exhaustion.”

Durbin says that isn’t enough information, and the senator hasn’t received any further information on Jackson’s condition aside from what his office has told the press.


“If there is some medical necessity for him not saying more at this moment, then I will defer to that,” Durbin said, according to a transcript of the press conference provided by his office. “But he will have to soon make a report on what he’s struggling with, the physical condition he’s struggling with.”

Durbin also pointed out that Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) was forthcoming with information about his stroke earlier this year, and he even created a video to update his constituents. However an investigation by the Tribune shows Kirk first used an alias to check into the hospital after his stroke “to enhance his privacy.” Kirk’s office published news of the senator’s stroke two days later.


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