On April 9, 2017, Dr David Dao became known nationally and internationally as the “Chinese” doctor who was forcefully removed from a United Airlines flight 3411 departing Chicago, Illinois for Louisville, Kentucky. There are a number of strange occurrences relating to the story of Mr. Dao and his removal, not the least of which is Mr. Dao, himself.
According to records and documents assembled by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Mr. Dao was arrested in 2003, subsequent to an undercover investigation. The Board determined that Mr. Dao became sexually interested in a male patient named Brian Case, upon whom Dao performed a physical examination, including a genital examination. Evidently, later Dao made Case the office manager of his medical office.
According to investigation, Case left the position due to “inappropriate” remarks made by Dao. Subsequently, Dao arranged the provision of prescription drugs to Case, in return for sexual favors.
In 2004 Dao was convicted of a number of felonies relating to his interactions with Case, including obtaining drugs by fraud or deceit. Dao received five years of supervised probation. Case was also indicted in the matter.
Dao was originally charged with 98 counts of illegally prescribing prescriptions, allegedly on behalf of Case, including such drugs as Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, and Percocet.
According to Board documents, Dao supplied Case with prescription drugs over a period of three years. Dao and Case would meet in motel rooms. According to the Courier-Journal, a Kentucky periodical, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure permitted Dao to resume the practice of medicine in 2015, under certain conditions, which included that Dao undergo mandatory psychological examinations.
The Board determined that Dao had difficulty processing his feelings, and urged Dao to examine incidents in his childhood.
According to Poker News, Mr. Dao is an avid poker player. During the period in which Dao’s medical license was suspended, Mr. Dao participated in a number of poker tournaments. According to cardplayer.com, Dao placed second in the World Series of Poker, winning $117,744, in 2009. According to the same publication, Dao’s career poker winnings total $230,000.
In 2016, Dao received permission by the Board to conduct “onsite consultations” with patients.
Mr. Dao’s history is not the only strange issue relating to the incident on the United Airline flight. Other questions arise. Allegedly, United Airlines needed to remove four persons from the flight to enable four United personnel to have seats on the plane, as such persons were needed in Louisville. Generally, when an overbooking situation occurs, the airline will address the issue, and provide concessions to their customers, before such customers are already seated on the plane. Why did this not happen in Chicago?
The flight from Chicago to Louisville is only a five hour drive by automobile. Why didn’t the airline either direct its employees to either transport themselves by automobile to Louisville, provide transport on a later flight, or even a different airline, as opposed to seeking the removal of seated passengers?
The behavior of Mr. Dao, himself, appears strange. The Board’s findings was that Mr. Dao may have had issues controlling his emotions. Studying the videos of the occurrence on the plane, one could reasonably determine that Mr. Dao’s reaction to the requests or demands of the law enforcement personnel was excessive. However, such a reaction could also reasonably be shown by any number of persons, depending upon a variety of factors, including the necessity to return to one’s destination, the emotions created by the situation, or even some events that may have occurred earlier in the day.
After Mr. Dao was dragged from the plane, he somehow was able to reenter the plane. Mr. Dao was visibly bloodied and repeating, “please, do not kill me”. How did a 69 year old man, who appeared unconscious, escape the grasp of the Chicago Aviation officers?
A woman recently was removed from a United Airline flight because she was wearing leggings that violate company policy. Apparently, the woman was associated with the company, or was a guest of one of its employees. Nevertheless, this event was also the subject of voracious attention by the press.
One of the strangest dynamics present in the United Airlines affair was the reaction of the press. The incident on the United flight has become a central topic of the mainstream press for much of the week following its reported occurrence on Sunday, April 9, 2017. The Chinese press has also heavily reported this incident. (According to news reports, one or a number of passengers on the flight claimed that the man questioned whether he was chosen for removal because he is Chinese. Recent reports that have divulged the identity of whom we know believe to be Mr. Dao, have stated that Mr. Dao is Vietnamese. Of course, one can derive from Vietnam but be of Chinese ethnicity)
While the incident on the United flight has dominated the news cycle of the mainstream press, more newsworthy events have occurred that have gone largely unreported in the mainstream press. President Trump has sent a number of warships towards North Korea, there has been discussion of either attacking North Korea or attempting the assassination of its leader, Kim Il Jung. China has sent or is sending 150,000 troops to the South Korean border. This, after the Trump Administration’s bombing of a Syrian Airbase.
This may be the strangest part of the United Airlines saga. A succession of events that could conceivably lead to a major confrontation of world powers, a possible third world war, should be a much more important news story than the removal of one troubled man from an airplane.
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