Utah tech founder sends ‘despicable’ antisemitic anti-vaccine email to state officials

Entrata founder Dave Bateman stepped down as chairman after sending conspiracy theory-filled screed about Covid-19 vaccines

Alex Woodward
New York
Wednesday 05 January 2022 04:40
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The founder of a Utah-based property management software company stepped down as chairman after sending an antisemitic email to several state officials and company chiefs in which he baselessly accused “the Jews” for what he characterised as a plot to “euthanise the American people” with Covid-19 vaccines.

David Bateman stepped down from Entrata’s board of directors and resigned his position as chairman following reports of the email, according to Entrata CEO Adam Edmunds.

“Entrata’s board of directors today asked Dave Bateman to resign from the company’s board of directors, including his position as chairman,” Mr Edmunds wrote in a statement on social media. “Dave agreed and is no longer a member of the Entrata board, effective immediately.”

Mr Edmunds said that “Entrata firmly condemn antisemitism in any and all forms.”

In an email sent from his entrata.com account on 3 January, Mr Bateman – who had bailed out the state’s GOP from its legal debts – revived a fabricated antisemitic conspiracy theory that posits vaccines as an international effort by global “elites” leveraging the pandemic and “systematic extermination of billions of people” to “consolidate all the countries in the world under a single flag with totalitarian rule.”

“I believe the Jews are behind this,” he wrote.

He added: “I know, it sounds bonkers. No one is reporting on it, but the Hasidic Jews in the US instituted a law for their people that they are not to be vaccinated for any reason.”

Among the recipients were to tech executives, elected officials and other state leaders, including the the owner of the NBA’s Utah Jazz, Governor Spencer Cox and Utah Senate Minority Whip Luz Escamilla, according to The Washington Post.

In a message to Utah’s FOX 13, which first reported the email, Mr Bateman confirmed he had written it, adding that he has “nothing but love for the Jewish people.”

Clint Betts, CEO and co-founder of nonprofit tech industry group Silicon Slopes, said Mr Bateman’s email “was insane, intolerant, and antisemitic.”

“It is not representative of Silicon Slopes or the inclusive community so many in this state are trying to build,” he said.

Elizabeth Converse, executive director of Silicon Slopes Commons, said Mr Bateman’s “behavior and sentiment is despicable and does not reflect the attitudes of the Utah tech industry.”

“It’s disconcerting that a former leader in our community is now trying to undermine the hard work our companies have done on two fronts – the Covid-19 response and our ongoing commitment to diversity,” she said in a statement. “We love and support our Jewish brothers and sisters, and know that our industry and our state is better because of their work.”

A statement from advocacy organisation United Jewish Federation to Utah’s Deseret News condemned the email’s “vile, hyperbolic and untrue accusations against Jews which amplify some of the worst antisemitism in our history.”

“It directly attributes to the Jewish people the responsibility for the deaths of millions of Americans and other repeatedly refuted baseless conspiracy theories about the Jewish people and the covid epidemic,” the statement said. “We believe such statements by influential people in our community contribute to the rising hate crimes and violent attacks against Jews here and abroad.”

Last July, Entrata said it was processing more than $20bn in rental payments a year through its platform that serves more than 20,000 apartment communities in the US.

The company said it is the “fastest-growing software company in real estate” with more than $200m in annual recurring revenue, with more than 2,100 employees and “plans to add hundreds more in 2021 alone.”

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