Utah tech entrepreneur calls COVID-19 vaccine an extermination plot by “the Jews”

One-time Utah tech entrepreneur and state GOP fundraiser Dave Bateman sent an email to a long list of tech sector executives, elected officials and other state leaders Tuesday claiming “the Jews” are behind the COVID-19 vaccines and part of a “sadistic effort underway to euthanize the American people.”

“I write this email knowing that many of you will think I’m crazy after reading it,” Bateman wrote in an email sent out early Tuesday morning. “I believe there is a sadistic effort underway to euthanize the American people. It’s obvious now. It’s undeniable, yet no one is doing anything. Everyone is discounting their own judgement and dismissing their intuition.

“I believe the Jews are behind this.”

Bateman is the co-founder of Entrata, a company launched in 2003 that developed a cloud-based software suite that automates many of the tasks that come with managing multifamily developments. Last July, the company said it was processing more than $20 billion in rent payments annually through its platform and serving more than 20,000 apartment communities across the United States. Entrata announced a $507 million funding round in 2021 and said it’s the fastest-growing software company in real estate with over $200 million in annual recurring revenue. Last year, the Lehi-based company reported it had over 2,100 employees and plans are in place to add hundreds more in 2022.

Bateman stepped down from the CEO position in December 2020 and has reportedly been living in Puerto Rico for at least the past year. He remains chairman of the company’s board of directors.

Bateman earned headlines in 2018 when he offered to cover the legal fees of the Utah Republican Party’s legal challenge of SB54, a law the Utah Legislature passed in 2014 that created an alternative path to Utah’s long-standing caucus/convention system for securing a party’s nomination for elected office. The state GOP’s effort to undo the new option for candidates was unsuccessful.

In his email, Bateman also cites further misinformation about COVID-19 including that PCR diagnostic tests are carcinogenic and urges recipients to not get vaccinated.

Bateman also expounds on his antisemitic conspiracy claims.

“For 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church and place a Jew covertly at the top,” Bateman wrote. “It happened in 2013 with Pope Francis. I believe the pandemic and systematic extermination of billions of people will lead to an effort to consolidate all the countries in the world under a single flag with totalitarian rule.

“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.”

Current Entrata CEO Adam Edmunds posted a response to Bateman’s email on his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon.

“Earlier today Dave Bateman, one of our founders, made several highly offensive statements in an email to recipients outside the company,” Edmunds wrote. “The opinions expressed by Dave were his alone, and do not reflect the views or values of Entrata, the executive team, board of directors, or investors. To be absolutely clear, we at Entrata firmly condemn antisemitism in any and all forms.

“For those who have seen and been offended or disturbed by the content of Dave’s email, we understand and share your disappointment. At Entrata, we respect and support all religions, genders, sexual orientations, races, and beliefs. Diversity and inclusivity are critical to the success and future of Entrata.”

Utah tech community leaders also responded to Bateman’s email, including Elizabeth Converse, executive director of Silicon Slopes Commons, the advocacy arm of Utah nonprofit tech industry group Silicon Slopes.

“This behavior and sentiment is despicable and does not reflect the attitudes of the Utah tech industry,” Converse said in a statement. “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 COVID19 response and our ongoing commitment to diversity. We love and support our Jewish brothers and sisters, and know that our industry and our state is better because of their work.

“Additionally, to spread such blatant disinformation in our state when Omicron is on the rise makes this kind of language doubly dangerous. Our companies make decisions based in science when it comes to the pandemic, and outright reject the antisemitism the author displayed.”

Blake McClary, product director for financial technology company Paytm, took to Twitter to share his disappointment with Bateman’s claims.

“Dave Bateman has been the worst representative of Utah tech for years,” McClary wrote. “We all know this. It’s time for him to step down from Entrata and enjoy his tax haven in Puerto Rico and not embarrass us.”

Correction: An earlier version misstated Blake McClary’s position as director of product for Divvy. McClary is director of product for Paytm.