Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who has gone missing from the House of representatives since June 10 with whereabouts unknown, is, according to his doctors, being treated for a “mood disorder.” What does that mean? Who knows? Jackson’s spokesman released this statement:
“Information regarding the Congressman’s treatment is protected by federal law under the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPPA”). The name of the attending physician and treatment center will not be disclosed in order to protect his continuing privacy. His physician makes the following statement: ‘The Congressman is receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder. He is responding positively to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.’ In addition, the rumors about him being treated for alcohol or substance abuse is not true.”
Even House Democrats, embarrassed that one of their own has gone AWOL, wanted to know. Rumors abounded. One NBC rumor had Jackson holed up in an Arizona rehab clinic, but Jackson Jr.’s wife quashed that. On July 5, Jackson’s office said he would need “extended in-patient treatment as well as continuing medical treatment thereafter.”
Nancy Pelosi, ever aware that the Chicago Machine is not to be trifled with, said Wednesday, “He’s a valued Member of Congress.” Not valued enough to have to show up for votes, of course.
But local pols around Chicago were confused: “Everyone is just kind of scratching their head,” one Democratic operative said.
Reverend Jesse Jackson told reporters that it was inappropriate to ask questions about his son. But he did take the time to deny that his son had attempted suicide.