Wrong Dr. David Dao? United Airlines Passenger May Not Be Kentucky Doctor Defamed By Media [Opinion]

In a strange twist to an already bizarre story, it turns out that abused United Airlines passenger Dr. David Dao may not be the man being smeared by recent news media stories which claim that he traded drugs for gay sex with a younger man, reports the Independent. The stories, printed by major news outlets like the New York Post and the Daily Mail paint Dao in a bad light, in what some speculate is a move orchestrated by United Airlines to turn public opinion against the man who was so egregiously treated. Many individuals are reporting that the doctor who was abused was Dr. David Thanh Duc Dao while the man with the sordid past is Dr. David Anh Duy Dao.

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United Airlines got into hot water on Sunday when they forcibly removed Dr. Dao from his seat after no one volunteered to leave the overbooked flight to make room for extra crew needed at the flight’s destination, reports theT Inquisitr. A video taken by fellow passenger Audra Bridges shows David Dao being thrown against an armrest and dragged off the plane by three guards. Dao appeared to be bleeding and may have been unconscious for part of the ordeal.

After the video went viral, many people called for a boycott of United Airlines‘ treatment of Dr. David Dao, showing outrage over the way he was violently handled and over the airline’s lackluster apology, which did not place any blame on the staff or call for disciplinary action, reports the Inquisitr. According to the Independent, United Airlines’ value went down almost $1 billion as a result of public reaction to Dao’s mistreatment.

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Then, as early as Tuesday, stories started coming out about David Dao’s past. The Daily Mail reported that Dao has felony drug convictions in his history and has even dealt drugs to a patient in return for sex, claiming that in 2003 he was indicted for “unauthorized prescribing, dispensing or administering of controlled substances,” among other charges. David Dao is accused of having sex with his patient in motel rooms, paying $200 in cash each time. The patient’s name is Brian Case, who reportedly attended the same church as Dao. The New York Post adds that Dao allegedly had a history of angry outbursts as well as a gambling habit. According to the Inquisitr, Dao was urged to seek psychological counseling for his problems.

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But what if none of this was true about the doctor who was brutally assaulted by United Airlines staff? United certainly has a motive to pay news outlets to dig up dirt on a customer that the public is siding with, leading to their financial ruin. It also seems beyond the possibility of coincidence that a man who happened to be chosen from a lottery to leave an overbooked flight and who happened to be assaulted as a result of his refusal to leave also happened to have such a sordid and colorful past.

For now, the speculation on Dr. David Thanh Duc Dao vs. Dr. David Anh Duy Dao seems to be limited to social media and has not been confirmed by any news outlets. The public seems to agree that even if the David Dao implicated in these drug and sex crimes is the same David Dao that was assaulted by United Airlines staff, this is still no reason to withdraw sympathy from this man who was so brutally mistreated. Whether or not these events are truly a part of his past, Twitter users agree that they should have absolutely no bearing on judging his current situation. If it is true that United Airlines paid news outlets to research and publish character-assassinating attacks on David Dao, it is clear that their efforts to remove public sympathy from the assaulted doctor have not paid off.

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[Featured Image by Palto/Shutterstock]