Rand Paul Uses Heimlich on Joni Ernst at Senate Lunch - The World News

Rand Paul Uses Heimlich on Joni Ernst at Senate Lunch

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa thanked her Republican colleague Rand Paul of Kentucky on Thursday for performing the Heimlich maneuver on her as she choked during a Senate lunch.

A reporter for Politico reported the news on X, formerly Twitter, wrote that senators had told him that Ms. Ernst was OK after the incident.

Ms. Ernst quickly used the experience to take a swing at Democrats, writing on social media: “Can’t help but choke on the woke policies Dems are forcing down our throats. Thanks, Dr. @RandPaul!”

Her office did not provide more information about the episode, saying in an email, “Thanks for checking in.”

Mr. Paul, whose office did not immediately respond to requests for comment, is an ophthalmologist. Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, called him a “hero” in a post on X.

“Not all senators can quote Mises and Hayek — while saving lives,” Mr. Lee wrote, referring to Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich von Hayek, two Austrian-born economists revered by libertarians.

Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, posted photos on X earlier Thursday of himself and Ms. Ernst holding plates of food at the luncheon, including an Iowa chop.

The Heimlich maneuver, developed by Dr. Henry J. Heimlich in 1974, has been credited with saving thousands of lives. It entails wrapping both arms around a choking victim from behind, making a fist just over the victim’s navel and thrusting upward sharply five times to eject an object that is obstructing the windpipe. Though it can result in broken ribs, the maneuver is highly effective.

Ms. Ernst, 53, is not the first senator to need the Heimlich during a lunch in Washington in recent years.

In 2018, Claire McCaskill, a Democratic senator from Missouri at the time, choked at a Senate lunch, prompting Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, to perform the Heimlich on her.

One of her ribs was broken in the process.

“She could have choked to death,” Mr. Manchin said at the time, according to CNN. “And you know Claire, she’s tougher than nails.”

On Thursday afternoon, even Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who usually spars with Mr. Paul, was grateful for the senator’s quick thinking, NBC News reported.

“God bless Rand Paul,” Mr. Graham said. “I never thought I’d say that.”

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