Entrata founder Dave Bateman stepped down as chairman of the software company on Tuesday after sending an antisemitic email to many Utah political leaders calling the COVID-19 vaccine a plot to “euthanize the American people,” blaming the effort on “the Jews.”
Bateman’s email, sent early Monday from his entrata.com account, cited an unhinged conspiracy theory that says the vaccines are an effort, pushed by global “elites” including Bill Gates and George Soros, to depopulate the planet.
In a statement late Tuesday afternoon, Entrata CEO Adam Edmunds said Bateman had stepped down from the company’s board of directors and resigned his position as chairman.
“Dave is no longer a member of the board, effective immediately,” Edmunds said.
In the first sentence of his email, Bateman wrote that many of the email’s recipients “will think I’m crazy after reading it.”
“The spike protein in both the vaccine and the illness are attacking the reproductive systems of women, and will eventually erode the number of T cells in our bodies that can ward off infections,” the now-former chairman wrote. “Don’t get the illness and don’t get vaccinated.”
There is no proof to back up any of Bateman’s claims. The conspiracy theory has been floating around in several different iterations since September 2020.
Bateman attributes the “former chief scientist at Pfizer” as someone who believes “genocide of our peoploe (sic) is underway.”
Bateman is referring to Dr. Michael Yeadon, a retired British doctor who has opposed COVID-19 restrictions and believes vaccines are not needed to end the pandemic. Yeadon was a chief scientist of Pfizer’s allergy research unit. He has been spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation for more than a year.
Bateman’s email included an antisemitic screed, blaming “the Jews” for the nefarious scheme, which involves secretly replacing the pope with a member of the Jewish faith. He writes that happened in 2013 with the ascension of 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,” Bateman wrote.
“I pray that I’m wrong on this. Utah has got to stop the vaccination drive. Warn your employees. Warn your friends. Prepare. Stay safe,” Bateman concluded ominously.
Some of what Bateman says in his letter is not uncommon in far-right conspiracy communities according to Al Jones, founder of the Q Origins Project, which tracks conspiracy theories and extremism online. Jones is a pseudonym he uses online because of the threat posed by some of these groups.
“It’s clear he (Bateman) is hanging out in some far-right communities online. The belief that the pandemic is actually a plan for mass genocide is extremely widespread in conspiracy communities. But, the belief that Pope Francis is a secret Jew is pretty rare,” Jones says.
In 2019, Bateman made headlines when he extinguished the Utah Republican Party’s debt from numerous unsuccessful legal challenges to the state’s signature-gathering path for candidates. In 2018, Bateman accused Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, of offering a woman $1 million to file false sexual harassment claims against him. The Lehi police concluded there was no proof for Bateman’s allegations.
On Tuesday, the Entrata chief executive apologized for Bateman’s email.
“To be absolutely clear, we at Entrata firmly condemn antisemitism in any and all forms,” Edmunds said.
In July of 2021, Entrata announced that it had raised $500 million through a private equity funding round, according to Pulse 2.0. Private investors included Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, DOMO CEO Josh James, CEO and founder of Vivint Smart Home Todd Pederson and others, Pulse 2.0 reported.
Correction • Jan. 4, 2:20 p.m.: This story has been updated to correct Bateman’s title and role at Entrata.