A Utah tech advisor resigned after sending out an antisemitic email about a COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory to other business and political leaders in the state.
Dave Bateman was the founder and chair of Entrata–a tech firm in the Silicon Slopes, the area surrounding Lehi, Utah, where dozens of tech start-ups are centralized.
Bateman just stepped down from the company's board of directors after Fox 13 reported he sent the email suggesting COVID vaccines were part of a plot by "The Jews" to exterminate people.
In the email with the subject line that read "Genocide"–Bateman wrote:
"I write this email knowing that many of you will think I'm crazy after reading it."
"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 judgment, and dismissing their intuition."
The tech executive, who was a prominent Republican donor in Utah, went on to claim vaccine criticism was being censored, and he said charges will be brought against President Joe Biden's Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
"I believe the Jews are behind this."
"For 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church and place a Jew covertly at the top."
"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."
Bateman closed the email with:
"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."
In a text message to Fox 13, Bateman confirmed he sent the email.
"Yes. I sent it. I have nothing but love for the Jewish people."
"Some of my closest friends are Jews."
"My heart breaks for their 2500 years they’ve been mistreated by nearly every country on earth."
"But I do believe Scottish Rite Freemasons are behind the pandemic (overwhelmingly Jewish)."
"And I fear billions of people around the globe right now are being exterminated."
Bateman told the news outlet the letter was a reflection of his personal opinion intended only for a few close friends.
He said he "had no intention of raising a big stir."
Now that his antisemitic screed was shared with the public, his comments incited wide condemnation, including from Rabbi Avremi Zippel, who said Bateman's letter was "a flaming pile of garbage."
Rabbi Zippel said:
"This is blatant antisemitism."
"This behavior just can't be condemned as some crazy stuff in an email because we know the real-life ramifications of this sort of stuff."
Zippel told Fox 13 he and his congregation are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"We know how quickly things go from ridiculous conspiracy theories online and in emails, how that jumps to violence rather quickly."
You can watch the Fox 13 news report, here.
On Tuesday, Entrata CEO Adam Edmunds denounced Bateman's comments in a tweet.
"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 condemn antisemitism in any and all forms."
Edmunds said he understood anyone who was "offended or disturbed" by the email.
"At Entrata, we respect and support all religions, genders, sexual orientation, races, and beliefs."
"Diversity and inclusivity are critical to the success and future of Entrata."
The United Jewish Federation of Utah said Bateman's email contained "vile, hyperbolic and untrue accusations against Jews which amplify some of the worst anti-Semitism in our history."
The group continued:
"The United Jewish Federation of Utah calls on organizations associated with this individual to distance themselves from this individual, who has taken a public and open stance on some of the worse antisemitic tropes in our society."
"We must accept that any association with this individual and support for his activities only continues to strengthen this type of hate, and reflects by association, on the organizations that he is part."
Elizabeth Converse, the executive director of Utah Tech Leads, was also appalled over Bateman's comments.
"It’s incredibly disturbing that somebody in our community would voice these kinds of opinions, especially during this time."
"We’ve all seen a rise in anti-semitic behavior across the country and specifically in Utah because of the virus."
Another recipient of Bateman's letter was Clint Betts, with Silicon Slopes Commons–an industry group representing Utah's tech industry.
Betts called Bateman's email "insane, intolerant, and antisemitic."
"It is not representative of Silicon Slopes or the inclusive community so many in this state are trying to build."
Sara Dansie Jones–the CEO of InclusionPro and a co-founder of the Women Tech Council–also called out Bateman's letter.
"So unfortunate," she wrote.
"Time for Utah tech leaders to get behind TechLeadsPAC and use their influence for good."
Late Tuesday, Utah Tech Leads called for Silicon Slopes companies to sign a pledge condemning antisemitism.
They wrote on their website:
"We are creating a coalition of companies to help combat antisemitism, racism, and other discriminatory practices and beliefs within our community."
"This commitment is more than words."
"It is a daily choice for tech leaders to seek out opportunities to educate and be educated, to share their understanding with their workforce, and to stand together to protect the values that we so strongly share."