Newly-crowned Miss USA Kara McCullough faced widespread backlash from liberal social media users after she called health care a “privilege” and not a right while answering questions onstage during Sunday night’s pageant.
McCullough, a scientist who works for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and who competed as Miss District of Columbia, was asked if she believes health care should be a right or a privilege for American citizens.
“I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” the 25-year-old pageant winner said, adding that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize someone else’s health care.
“As a government employee, I’m granted healthcare. And I see firsthand that for one, to have healthcare, you need to have jobs, so therefore we need to continue to cultivate this environment so that we’re given the opportunities to have healthcare as well as jobs for all Americans worldwide,” McCullough said.
— Miss USA (@MissUSA) May 15, 2017
The answer sent social media users into a frenzy, as many user chided McCullough for her answer.
— Kat ❤ (@dazella_may) May 15, 2017
— Charlsley✿ (@CharlsleyCarey) May 15, 2017
DC just disqualified herself with that answer #MissUSA
— Keeni Rodgers (@keeniz__) May 15, 2017
Some Twitter users, however, defended McCullough.
Black people hating on #MissUSA because of conservative positions need to stop acting like owned brainwashed slaves to the left.
— darnell (@cross_bearer89) May 15, 2017
CHILL FOLKS…Freaking out about Miss DC's answer on healthcare? She's just saying that you need to pay for it it's not free #MissUSA
— Jackie Cunningham (@Cubsin2020) May 15, 2017
Way to go Miss DC You are correct! Healthcare is not a privilege – xoxo a nurse! #MissUSA
— 🌞TrumpsAmerica🌞🌊 (@irshroz) May 15, 2017
During the competition, McCullough was also asked if she considered herself a feminist, to which she said she prefers to “transpose” the word feminism to “equalism.”
“I don’t want to call myself a feminist. Women, we are just as equal as men, especially in the workplace,” McCullough said.
“I believe we’ve come a long way and there is more work to be done. I think domestically we are making progress and I do believe that we will become equal one day,” she added.
McCullough beat out first runner-up Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg, a student at Rutgers University. McCullough will compete next in the Miss Universe contest.
“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity,” she said after the event. ““I just want to encourage so many women nationwide to find their passion in any subject possible and understand that nothing is difficult if you really, truly put the work in for it.”