Sen. Rand Paul saves choking fellow Republican Sen. Joni Ernst

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Joni Ernst choked on food during a closed-door Republican lunch on Thursday and was rescued by fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who performed the Heimlich maneuver on her.

Ernst, from Iowa, later said she was okay and confirmed a reporter's account of the choking episode on X, replying to the reporter's post describing what happened to her with a tongue-in-cheek caption

"Can’t help but choke on the woke policies Dems are forcing down our throats. Thanks, Dr.@RandPaul!" Ernst posted atop one from Politico reporter Burgess Everett describing the choking incident.

Paul is a medical doctor whose focus is in ophthalmology.

The Thursday Senate Republican lunch is hosted by a different senator each week, and usually showcases food from the hosting senator's home state.

Thursday's lunch was hosted by Ernst.

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, Ernst's Iowa colleague, posted a photo of the two of them holding up chops of steak from the Iowa Cattlemen's Association.

Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 4:05PM by Allison Pecorin, ABC News Permalink