Ernst expressed her gratitude to Paul on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, while blaming Democrats for her brief inability to swallow.
“Can’t help but choke on the woke policies Dems are forcing down our throats,” she wrote in response to a Politico reporter breaking news of the scare.
A spokesperson for Ernst’s office pointed to her online posting when asked for comment.
Ernst was hosting the Thursday luncheon for fellow Republicans. The event features a different host each week and local dishes from their home state.
Fellow Iowan Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) shared a photo online that appeared to show him together with Ernst during the meal, which he said featured meat from a state cattlemen’s association.
Paul got some immediate public praise from his colleagues following the incident — including from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has often traded barbs with Paul.
“God bless Rand Paul,” Graham reportedly said. “I never thought I’d say that.”
Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) — who, like Paul, was trained as an ophthalmologist, specializing in eye and vision care — also expressed her gratitude and relief.
“Thank God we have doctors in Congress. So grateful that @SenRandPaul was able to intervene and that @SenJoniErnst is okay,” she posted on X, using the handles for Paul and Ernst.
Paul’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.