Miss USA Asya Branch Visits The Empire State Building
A month after winning the crown of Miss USA, Asya Branch made a visit to one of New York City’s greatest tourist attractions. Branch posed on top of the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building on Tuesday.
History was made one month ago from Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee when Branch she won Miss USA. Branch, previously the first black women to be crowned Miss Mississippi, was crowned by Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst, her predecessor. The event was originally supposed to occur in the spring but was continuously postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. All COVID-19 safety precautions were put in place, such as multiple tests taken and the wearing of masks at the pageant.
Branch is a strong advocate for prison reform after having the issue strike close to home. Branch’s father was arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery when she was only 10 years old. She started an initiative called Finding Your Way: Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents.
During a portion of the competition where contestants are asked random questions, Branch spoke up about her beliefs surrounding gun reform. “As someone who grew up in a home with guns, I learned at an early age how to load, how to fire and gun safety, and I think that education should be available to everyone.”
“I think it’s important that we not ban guns, because obviously, people will find a way to get what they want anyways, but I think it’s our Second Amendment right, and we just need more safety surrounding that.” she added, along with the belief that their should be stricter objects in place, such as testing and training those who want to own a gun.
In 2018, Branch met with President Donald Trump in a roundtable table discussion about criminal justice reform. She also sang at a Trump rally in Mississippi the same year she got crowned in her home state. “Incredible honor to sing the national anthem tonight in Southhaven for the President rally,” she wrote at the time on Instagram.
Although when answering a question at the competition, Branch said that we as a nation “lost trust in the systems that seems to keep our government running” and believes that “if we want. to continue to be the greatest nation, we’re going to have to set a better example.”
Following her win, Branch moved to New York City to begin her duties as Miss USA. She will represent the United States in the next Miss Universe competition.