"I write this email knowing that many of you will think I'm crazy after reading it." That's how Utah tech entrepreneur and GOP fundraiser Dave Bateman started off his message to state leaders and members of the tech industry on Tuesday, suggesting he had at least some inkling of how his message would be received—i.e., not well. By the end of the day, the founder of software company Entrata had stepped down from its board over his email, which was rife with antisemitism and COVID conspiracy theories, per the Deseret News. More on the story:
- Antisemitic rant: In his email, Bateman wrote that it was "undeniable" regarding the coronavirus vaccine that "there is a sadistic effort underway to euthanize the American people," claiming: "I believe the Jews are behind this." He added: "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."
- More antisemitism: Bateman also wrote that Jews "have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church" for hundreds of years and put a Jewish leader in place, and that they'd secretly accomplished this mission in 2013 with Pope Francis.
- Debunked COVID information: Bateman's email also included misinformation about COVID, including that PCR tests contain cancer-causing substances, as well as that the coronavirus vaccine attacks women's reproductive systems, per the Salt Lake Tribune.
- Aftermath: Late Tuesday afternoon, Entrata CEO Adam Edmunds put out a statement decrying Bateman's remarks, calling them "highly offensive." About an hour later came a follow-up statement from Edmunds noting that the Entrata board had asked Bateman to step down and relinquish his position as chairman, and that "Dave agreed and is no longer a member of the Entrata board, effective immediately."
- Further fallout: In its own statement, per ABC4, the United Jewish Federation of Utah called Bateman's email "vile and hyperbolic," adding that "we believe such statements by influential people in our community contribute to the rising hate crimes and violent attacks against Jews here and abroad."
- From the governor: GOP Gov. Spencer Cox also addressed the controversy on Tuesday evening, writing: "These irresponsible comments are hurtfully anti-Semitic, blatantly false, and we completely reject them."
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