Two Arizona congressmen had a drama-filled flight back to Washington, D.C., where they voted Friday to pass a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package aimed at helping Americans and businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
Reps. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, and Paul Gosar, a Republican, were on a quiet overnight red-eye American Airlines flight when a fellow passenger passed out in the aisle.
Gallego, who had been sleeping, heard a call for anyone with a medical background. He immediately jumped up and ran toward the back of the plane to see what had happened. Gallego is a former Marine with combat medical training.
“I was hoping it wasn’t, but I thought it might be someone had collapsed because of the coronavirus,” Gallego told The Arizona Republic on Friday. “You can’t not help someone in that situation.”
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Gallego assessed the situation and realized the problem was internal, something he couldn’t fix. He remembered Gosar, a dentist, was also on the plane and ran to wake him up. Both congressmen attended to the man and his fiancée.
“Paul diagnosed him as having some blood sugar stuff. The guy was fine but people were shaken up,” Gallego said.
In a tweet posted Friday morning, Gallego thanked Gosar for “answering the call when the flight attendants asked for anyone with medical background! He answered when a young man passed out suddenly on this flight!”
Ben Goldey, a Gosar spokesman, told The Republic that Gosar assisted the crew and that the man was given either sweetened hot chocolate or coffee. Goldey said the man was fine when the plane landed.
Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., was also on the plane, which only had about 20 passengers, Gallego said.