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

PHOTO: Sen. Joni Ernst speaks to reporters following a closed-door lunch meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol October 17, 2023 in Washington, DC.PlayDrew Angerer/Getty Images
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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.

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Ernst, from Iowa, later said she was OK and confirmed a reporter's account of the choking episode on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, 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.

PHOTO: Sen. Joni Ernst speaks to reporters following a closed-door lunch meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol October 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Sen. Joni Ernst speaks to reporters following a closed-door lunch meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol October 17, 2023 in Washington, DC.
PHOTO: Sen. Rand Paul rrives for a vote in the Capitol, November 2, 2023. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Sen. Rand Paul rrives for a vote in the Capitol, November 2, 2023.

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.