CHICAGO — The announcement that Jesse Jackson Jr. had been transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota pinned down his whereabouts for the first time in weeks and gave clear confirmation that the Illinois congressman is suffering from depression.
It also was the first mention that he's now being treated for a "gastrointestinal issue," which some experts said Saturday was a sign his condition is becoming more complicated.
The Chicago Democrat and son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has been on a secretive leave of absence for nearly seven weeks, during which his office has released only occasional snippets of information, including that he was undergoing treatment for a "mood disorder" at an undisclosed inpatient facility.
A new, three-sentence written statement from the congressman was distributed by the Mayo Clinic late Friday during the national broadcast of the Olympics' opening ceremony, when public attention was more likely fixed half a world away.
As in the past, the statement gave scant detail, an apparent ongoing strategy in the face of pressure from congressional colleagues and constituents clamoring for an in-depth explanation.
It said he had been transferred to the Mayo Clinic for "extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues," but gave no information on the nature of his depression, where Jackson was being treated prior to arriving at the Mayo Clinic or his progress.
The clinic said Saturday it could not release anything further.
Mention of a gastrointestinal problem raised new questions — whether it's linked to the depression, entirely unrelated or a complication from a 2004 procedure he underwent to help him lose weight.