Thank you very much for writing this. I was very interested in your comments on Johns Hopkins CHS, and found your critiques very interesting. Those who found this interesting may wish to take a look at recent call notes from SoGive’s recent call with them, which can be found here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/d2LyLQZpoiqbCnrBo/call-notes-with-johns-hopkins-chs
I also copy and paste below the excerpt which specifically tackles the critiques raised here.
CHS explicitly recommended against wearing DIY masks in early March (a position reversed by the end of the month). When asked about this, CHS observed that there’s still not great data and evidence on masks. And that there’s a risk that using it without proper training could lead people to touch their face more. However on balance CHS has updated their opinions on this, and further acknowledges that masks are helpful for source control.
CHS were not discouraging people from pressing ahead with travel plans as late as 6th March. When asked about this, they observed that it was a change in emphasis between a commonly-held earlier view, which was that travel bans don’t achieve much because they ultimately don’t change the number of people infected, they only delay the inevitable. The change in view was because they had previously underestimated the value of delaying infections.
When discussing the items referred to in the previous two paragraphs, CHS referred to the already established received opinion or “dogma”, and how recent experience has been upturning that dogma.