Sen. Rand Paul Saves Colleague From Choking At Luncheon

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is being declared a hero after using the Heimlich maneuver to save Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) from choking at a Senate luncheon on Thursday.

When Ernst began choking, Paul rushed into action, successfully dislodging the food from her esophagus using the life-saving maneuver.

Following the scare, Paul and Ernst addressed attendees and taught them how to detect when someone is choking. They also informed them that training for the Heimlich maneuver was available at the Capitol.

Paul, 60, is a medical doctor, whose focus is ophthalmology. He graduated from Duke Medical School in 1988 and later started an ophthalmology practice in Bowling Green, K.Y. in 1993. He also founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, which is an organization that provides eye exams and surgeries to low-income families and individuals.

Ernst’s office later reported that the senator was okay.

After the incident, Ernst also commented about her ordeal, jokingly tweeting about how it was Democratic policies that had caused her choking.

Ernst, who has served in the Senate since 2015, was hosting the luncheon, something that GOP senators have done for more than 60 years. The luncheons consist of foods unique to their states. The Iowa senator served big pork chops and ribeyes.

Even though he was not present at the time, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) praised Paul’s life-saving actions.

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

Ernst was not the first senator or person to have needed the Heimlich at a luncheon.
In September, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) performed the Heimlich manuever on a man who was choking during a lunch event in Washington. In 2018, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) choked at a Senate luncheon, causing Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to perform the Heimlich manuever on her, breaking one of her ribs in the process.