Transcript for New Miss USA responds to health care backlash
We are back now with the new miss usa, nuclear scientist Kara Mccullough. She is here speaking out for the first time about the backlash she's facing for remarks she made on stage and we'll speak to her in a moment but first ABC's Adrienne Bankert has the story. Miss usa 2017 is -- Reporter: Meet the new miss usa. -- District of Columbia. Reporter: The crowns moment eclipsed by Kara Mccullough's take on this hot button issue. Do you think affordable health care for all U.S. Citizens is a right or a privilege and why? 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. I'm a scientist -- Reporter: The nuclear chemist blasted for not making a case for universal health care stoking a liberal versus conservative debate over many sensitive issues. One person tweeting I was on board with D.C. Until she gave that sad, uneducated answer on health care. Others defending her. Posting that was an intelligent take responsibility for your own life answer. Good for her. The 25-year-old taking even more heat after this q&a on feminism. I like to transpose the word feminism to equalism. I don't want to consider myself like this die-hard, you know, like, ah, I don't care about men. One thing I'll say, women, we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace. Reporter: One blogger responding what is wrong with beast a feminist miss DC usa? Some taking her side. Even a 2016 miss America contestant weighing in tweeting, leave it to Twitter to absolutely bail on #missdc because she expressed a nonsocialist position. For "Good morning America," Adrienne Bankert, ABC news, new York. And the newly crowned miss usa joining us right now, Kara Mccullough. Congratulations. Thank you. Congratulations to you. I see you're wearing your sash. How does it feel to be miss usa 2017? It's still surreal. I'm extremely thankful for this entire experience so probably sink in immediately after this interview that we're having. You said you've been in a cube for four years and now you are weigh out of that cube. I am. In the spotlight. I am so definitely like a huge change. I'm adjusting very quickly, I can say but I feel comfortable being here so thank you for inviting me. Winning the title obviously put you in the spotlight but another thing that put heat on you is this online -- been a lot of comments made when you made your comments about health care, you called it a privilege, not a right. Were you surprised by the reaction online? Not at all. I believe that's what America is based on like having opinions and views. 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. Because health care is a complicated topic and you get 30 seconds. You're put on the spot to give an answer to that and so you -- would you change anything you said? I would love to clarify. Really hone in on a couple of those -- let them know, hey, I am privileged to have health care. I want people to see where I was coming from. Having a job, I have to look at health care like it is a privilege. And another comment that created a little firestorm is, well, you use the term equalism instead of feminism and what do you mean by that? For me where I work at with the nuclear regulatory commission, equalism, no matter your gender you're 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 I'm not about women's rights. We deserve a lot when it comes to opportunity in the workplace as well as leadership positions and seen and witnessed firsthand the impact women have. Look at this show this morning, so just blessed to be in the presence of you all. As you said you work as a nuclear regulatory commission. How does this all compare to your day job? I mean, two totally different worlds, right? I would say where I was previously is regulatory compliance so I don't say nuclear power is safe but I'm the one to make sure it is safe. Starting your year-long reign as miss usa. You see your words carry a lot of weight, a lot of meaning so what are you -- what are you planning to use for your platform? What is it going to be. Stem enrichment for children and I struggle with math as a child and I just found so much joy in science and wanted to be able to understand it and that's why I started my Frahm, science exploration for kids and want children to find joy in science and not look at it like it's difficult. Moving forward I'm hoping to continue to visit schools, do science projects and symposiums with high school students and encourage them to look at feels in the science, technology, engineering and math. Open up the Gates. Another avenue open for you. This is the second year in a row that D.C. Has won. Do we see a dinahty coming. Honestly I'll let you coin that, but, yes, I'm looking forward to that as well, right. D.C. Is, like, I don't no if it's in the water or the area but the opportunity and just the women coming out of there are amazing. Even being on stage with all of the 50 contestants I was just so thankful to be in the midst of such intelligent women. Being miss usa 2017, what are you looking forward to the most? Opportunity to kind of just be touched by so many different people. I was a military child so I had the opportunity to experience worldwide culture and the biggest component of just like traveling so much was being able to interact with people from different cultures and I'm just hoping to be touched by so many people. I tell you what, we thank you for coming and congratulations. Thank you. Make sure you enjoy it. Well deserved. Thank you. Miss usa 2017, everybody,
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