Quick Takes

At U.S. Senate lunch, Rand Paul aids Joni Ernst in choking emergency

By: - November 30, 2023 4:06 pm

Rand Paul (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is doing okay after a fellow senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on the Iowa Republican when she choked on food during a closed-door GOP lunch Thursday.

“Can’t help but choke on the woke policies Dems are forcing down our throats. Thanks, Dr. @RandPaul!,” Ernst wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, quoting an earlier post from a Politico reporter about the incident.

Ernst’s office said later Thursday that she’s fine, but didn’t provide further details.

Paul became an ophthalmologist after graduating from Duke University with a medical degree in 1988.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters afterward that he appreciated Paul’s actions.

“God bless Rand Paul,” Graham said, according to a Washington Post reporter’s post on X. “I never thought I’d say that.”

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is shown speaking to an audience in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about her trip to the Middle East during the Israel-Hamas conflict before introducing Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley Oct. 20, 2023. (Photo by Robin Opsahl/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

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Jennifer Shutt
Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.