Miss USA stirs controversy, calls healthcare 'privilege'

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2017

THE WINNER OF the Miss USA pageant has sparked fierce debate online for refusing to call herself a feminist and saying that healthcare is a privilege and not a right.

The victor of Sunday's pageant will compete in the Miss Universe contest. She continued, "I just want people to see where I was coming from".

Fifty-one women representing each state and the nation's capital participated in the decades-old competition.

McCullough was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


The 2016 Miss USA, Deshauna Barber, also represented the US capital, formally known as the District of Columbia. The 25-year-old victor Kara McCullough works as a scientist at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. During the question-and-answer portion of the competition, McCullough was asked if affordable health care is a right or a privilege. McCullough said it is a privilege. "I hope and pray moving forward that health care is a right for all worldwide".

"We regulate nuclear power plants". She said she will be discussing with her work supervisor whether she will take a leave of absence. Miss District of Columbia replied she likes to "transpose" the word feminism to "equalism".

McCullough, a woman of color, said she was anxious about how audiences would view her natural hair in a sea of straight and teased pageant locks.

Kara McCullough from the US capital will go on to represent the United States at the Miss Universe contest.


The pageant included a field of five new immigrants who spoke on air about the importance of diversity - as if to refute U.S. President Donald Trump's less than welcoming stand toward some immigrants and refugees.

The women from Florida, North Dakota, Hawaii, Connecticut and New Jersey told The Associated Press this week they have faced challenges and opportunities as immigrants. She was raised in the southern USA state of Virginia.

"As Miss USA, I would love to be able to be that inspiration for our immigrant community", said Linnette De Los Santos, who emigrated with her family from the Dominican Republic when she was five.


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