Following three protests at her office and home and a series of online calls to action, Dr. Laurie Glimcher has resigned from the Board of Trustees of the New York Blood Center (NYBC).
In an attempt to disconnect Glimcher’s resignation from the chimpanzee scandal, NYBC and Cornell Medical College have issued statements claiming that she is no longer serving on the board because her term ended. Not only are the statements untrue, but they also conflict with each other.
In a cover story entitled “Weill Cornell Medicine Dean Accused of Chimp Abandonment,” the Cornell Daily Sun reported that Dr. Glimcher “vacated her position at the NYBC because her two-year commitment had expired.” The NY Blood Center, on the other hand, published a statement which quotes Dr. Glimcher saying, “For the past three years, I have gladly served on the board of NYBC.”
NYBC’s by-laws state that board members serve a three year term. Dr. Glimcher served just 2 years and 4 months, but NYBC appears to have rounded up to three years in order to state in its press release that she “fulfilled her commitment.” (see graphic below). If NYBC had reported on the true length of her service, then it would have had to disclose that she resigned eight months before her term ended.
Perhaps Cornell Medical College reported that she served on NYBC’s board for two years because that is closer to the truth, and Dr. Glimcher did not anticipate that advocates would compare the Cornell and NYBC statements or research NYBC’s by-laws to determine the term length for board members.
In the Cornell Daily Sun article, Dr. Glimcher is quoted as saying that she “can’t provide any insight about these decisions” surrounding the chimps because she joined the board in 2013. That is also inaccurate, as NYBC made the decision to abandon the chimps in early 2015, long before the Dr. Glimcher resigned from the board.
“If Dr. Glimcher had told the truth — that she resigned from the board because of the protests — and issued a public statement demanding that NYBC reinstate the funding for the chimps, then we would back off,” said Donny Moss, who is working on the grass roots campaign in NYC to hold NYBC accountable. “But she is not taking any responsibility for the chimps abandoned on her watch, and her decision to walk away from the scandal does nothing to help them.”
In its press release announcing Dr. Glimcher’s departure and other updates related to the Board, NYBC states that “18 of its 20 current trustees” would be returning. Why not Dr. Glimcher?
On Thursday, November 5th, over 100 activists are staging a protest at NYBC’s 50th anniversary fundraising gala to inform the organization’s donors that NYBC board members and executives left 66 chimpanzees to die on islands in Liberia with no food or water after kidnapping them from the jungle, breeding them in captivity, conducting invasive research experiments on them, earning $500 million in royalties off of the research and promising to provide them with lifelong care.