Charlotte’s Katie Coble gave it her best Sunday night but was bested in the Miss USA competition by a South Carolina State University graduate who is also a scientist.
The winner was Miss District of Columbia USA Kára McCullough, who currently works for the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. McCullough earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry with a concentration in radiochemistry from South Carolina State University.
She is the daughter of a now retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer. She was born in Italy, but raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Miss South Carolina Megan Gordon made the final five.
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McCullough’s win was quickly marked by a social media controversy, due to her very direct answer to a contest question about health care. The question: “Do you think affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege, and why?”
McCullough said it was 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,” she said.
Social media erupted within minutes, with the Washington Post reporting “quite a few people were horrified.”