Kára McCullough is ready to move forward from the controversy surrounding her Miss USA 2017 win

E! News spoke to the Washington, D.C.-based scientist after she backtracked on comments made during the pageant's Q&A portion on health care and women's rights, and why she's "thankful" for the opportunity to clear the air.

"That's what life is about," McCullough said when asked how she's coping with public backlash. "You have to roll with the punches. When challenges are thrown your way, you have to understand how to maneuver around them."

"I think having that mindset comes with loving science so much," she shared.

Kára then defended the questions asked, explaining, "They were about social issues going on in our nation and I think it's wonderful that we're able to answer them as well as start conversations about these types of issues."

But as anyone might feel after suddenly coming under fire, Miss USA is the first to admit, "Of course, no one wants backlash. No one wants to be talked about badly. That's the beauty of life."

She continued, "We're given that opportunity to share our opinions and as long as we can continue to keep this open dialogue and have people integrating and sharing ideas, everyone's minds are really going to expand."

McCullough also took time to clarify her stance on affordable health care for all Americans, which she initially said is a privilege and not a right. 

"As a woman, I will own up to what I said. I would love to clarify the points on that answer," she insisted. "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."

For more from this year's Miss USA, and to find out whether or not she's got a special man in her life, watch the videos above!

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