Sen. Rand Paul performs Heimlich maneuver on Joni Ernst amid emergency

The incident occurred during a Senate Republican lunch event hosted by Sen. Ernst which featured cuisine from her home state, reports said.
Sen. Rand Paul.
Posted at 6:21 PM, Nov 30, 2023

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on Iowa GOP Sen. Joni Ernst during a Senate Republican luncheon on Thursday during a choking emergency. 

Sen. Ernst later joked about the moment on X, writing, "Can't help but choke on the woke policies Dems are forcing down our throats. Thanks, Dr. @RandPaul!"

The senator was responding to a post sent out by Politico reporter Burgess Everett who wrote, "Whoa: Rand Paul used the Heimlich maneuver on Joni Ernst at Senate lunch today, she was choking on some food, per attendees. She’s OK, senators say."

The lunch event, hosted by Sen. Ernst, was part of a weekly tradition for lawmakers who typically feature cuisine from their respective home states, The Hill reported. 

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Other lawmakers commented on the incident, including South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham who told The Washington Post, "God bless Rand Paul." 

The senator added, "I never thought I’d say that." The two have been known to butt heads when it comes to legislation. 

(AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough, File)

Reports said the menu featured large pork chops along with ribeye steaks. 

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who said he didn't witness the moment firsthand, said, "We've had that happen one other time to one of our members. It's kind of scary."

Republican Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, who is also a doctor, commented on the moment with Ernst, while speaking to other attendees. They noted that senators are trained on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver during their time working at the Capitol.