The Rev. Jesse Jackson, 79, and his wife, Jacqueline, 77, have been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.
Jesse Jackson, a famed civil rights leader and two-time presidential candidate, was vaccinated against the virus and received his first dose in January during a publicized event. He and his wife are being treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
“Doctors are currently monitoring the condition of both,” said a statement from Jesse Jackson's nonprofit, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
A protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jackson was key in guiding the modern civil rights movement. Despite having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Jackson has remained active, and has advocated for COVID-19 vaccines for Black people, who lag behind white people in the United States’ vaccination drive.
Also in the news:
►The school superintendent in Tallahassee, Florida, announced Sunday that masks will be required for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, making Leon County the seventh district in the state to defy Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on such COVID-19 mandates.
►Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Sunday he has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. He is quarantining.
►U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas is the latest member of Congress to contract the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated. The Republican from the Houston areas advocated for the vaccine Saturday on Twitter, saying, “It is scientifically proven to drastically reduce the risk of severe illness & death from COVID.”
►Kentucky's Supreme Court ruled on a separation-of-powers case that means the Legislature can limit the emergency powers granted to Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat. The order dissolves the state's COVID-related state of emergency.
►Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tested negative for COVID-19 four days after he announced he was positive with a breakthrough case. “I am told that my infection was brief and mild because of the vaccination I received,” he said.
📈 Today's numbers: The U.S. has had more than 37.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 628,400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: More than 211.7 million cases and 4.4 million deaths. More than 170.8 million Americans – 51.5% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
📘 What we're reading: About 79% of eligible Puerto Ricans have gotten at least one vaccine shot, giving the Democratic-leaning U.S. territory in the Caribbean one of the best vaccination rates in the country. How Puerto Rico became a leader in vaccinations.
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The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could win full FDA approval as soon as Monday, multiple media outlets reported. The New York Times, citing people familiar with the planning who were not authorized to speak publicly, said the approval might come a day or two later if parts of the review need more time. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told ABC's "This Week" that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the FDA soon issues full approval of the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer, along with vaccine makers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, is being made available under an emergency use authorization. There was no word on when Moderna and J&J might win full approval.
Some vaccine-hesitant Americans have questioned the safety of the jabs, citing the lack of full FDA approval. Murthy gaining that approval could persuade more Americans to get vaccinated, prompt more companies and organizations to mandate vaccinations and help curb the dangerous spread of delta and other variants.
Americans' approval of President Joe Biden's job handling the coronavirus pandemic has dipped since a month ago as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus has driven a surge in cases nationwide. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey found that 54% approve of the job he has done with COVID, while last month that number was at 66%. The drop is largely because of Republicans' and independents' lowered approvals.
The survey showed 21% of Republicans and 44% of independents approved of Biden's job on COVID, down from 32% among Republicans and 72% for independents.
The U.S. reported more than 1 million new coronavirus cases in the last week, a level the country hasn't seen in more than six months, since the week ending in Feb. 1 –before vaccines were widely available.
Americans are also experiencing rising anxiety over COVID with the spread of delta, AP-NORC found. Forty-one percent are "extremely" or "very" worried about themselves or a family member being infected. The level of anxiety is about equal to levels in January, when 43% answered the same. Levels dipped in June, when just 21% said they were extremely or very worried.
Outspoken vaccine skeptic Phil Valentine has died a month after his COVID-19 diagnosis captured national attention and led to his public change of heart on vaccines. Valentine, 61, announced on Facebook on July 11 he had COVID-19 and predicted he would survive. Days later, Valentine's relatives said he was very sick, and he wanted listeners to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
After the conservative radio host was moved into a critical care unit, his brother Mark Valentine said Phil regretted not advocating for vaccinations.
“I know if he were able to tell you this, he would tell you, ’Go get vaccinated. Quit worrying about the politics. Quit worrying about all the conspiracy theories,” Mark Valentine told The Tennessean on July 25.
– Brad Schmitt, The Tenneseean
Contributing: The Associated Press