The mysterious month-long leave of absence of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. that prompted calls for disclosure from Democrats and Republicans in Congress has been framed as a “mood disorder” by unnamed doctor.
An earlier NBC report that he is being treated for alcoholism in Arizona was disputed by Rick Bryant, Jackson’s chief of staff. Bryant released an email statement saying that “rumors about him being treated for alcohol or substance abuse are not true.”
Still, Jackson’s handlers will not say where the U.S. Congressman is and refused elaborate on his condition beyond saying he in is at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder where he is receiving “intensive medical treatment” for a “mood disorder,” according to an ABC report.
Reporters and colleagues were told records of Jackson’s treatment are protected by federal law and that the attending physician’s name and treatment center “will not be disclosed in order to protect (Jackson’s) continuing privacy.”
Rep. Jesse Jackson, 47, a Chicago Democrat, has been on a medical leave since June 10, but his aides and family have declined to disclose the nature of his medical problem, where he is being treated or when he may return to work.
Earlier today, a top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives urged Rep. Jackson to tell voters what is ailing him, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
“Let me just deal with this briefly in this way. I think Congressman Jackson and his office and his family would be well advised to advise the constituents of his condition," said Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland. "He’s obviously facing a health problem. We have many members who are out right now.
Jesse Jackson, his father, tried to keep the focus on a PUSH event that he attended earlier today. Jackson told reporters at the Hilton and Towers Hotel where he sat with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Pat Quinn, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and others -- that it was "inappropriate" for them to ask him about his son.
"Inappropriate, no discussion, please," Jackson said as he paused between photos with dignitaries.