May 26, 2017  

Miss USA Kara McCullough Clarifies 'Health Care Is a Privilege' Comment

May 17, 2017 (2:27 am) GMT
Admitting that she wasn't surprised by people's reaction to her controversial statement, she says that she's 'privileged to have health care.'
Miss USA Kara McCullough Clarifies 'Health Care Is a Privilege' Comment

When she's still celebrating her victory at the Miss USA pageant, Kara McCullough has been at the center of attention not because of her impressive feat, but because of her controversial statement. At the 66th Miss USA pageant that was held on Sunday, May 14, the 25-year-old scientist was asked, "Do you think affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege, and why?"

She answered, "I'm definitely going to say it's a privilege. As a government employee, I am granted health care. And I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs. So therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we're given the opportunities to have health care as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide."

Speaking to various media outlets after the beauty pageant, McCullough clarified her statement. When appearing on "" on Tuesday, she was asked if she was surprised by people's reaction. "Not at all," she said. "I believe that's what America is based on - like, having opinions and views."

The D.C.-based beauty continued, "But I would like to just take this moment to truly just clarify. Because I am a woman, I'm going to own what I said. I am privileged to have health care and I do believe that it should be a right, and I hope and pray moving forward that health care is a right for all worldwide."

Speaking to E! News, McCullough gave a similar explanation. "As a woman, I will own up to what I said. I would love to clarify the points on that answer. Essentially, yes. I am privileged to have health care and I'm extremely thankful for it. I do believe affordable health care should be a right to all. I know as Miss USA, promoting a healthy lifestyle is a message I want to get across as well."

McCullough was also given the opportunity to explain her statement that feminism should be called "equalism." "You used the term equalism instead of feminism - and what do you mean by that?" asked her on "GMA".

She responded, "Where I work at with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, equalism is more of a term of understanding that no matter your gender, you're still given the same accolades on your work. So I believe the person does a good job, they should be, you know, credited for that in a sense."

"But I don't want anyone to look at that as if I'm not about women's rights. Because I am," she added. "We deserve a lot when it comes to opportunity in the workplace as well as just, like, leadership positions. And I've seen and witnessed firsthand the impact women have."

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