Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain points to Europe to argue American recovery wasn't 'inevitable'

Europe's economy shrank during the first quarter of 2021 while the United States' grew, and the White House is pointing to the former as evidence the latter was not "inevitable."

During the first three months of 2021, Europe's economy shrank 0.6 percent, taking it back into a recession and underlining "how the region is lagging other major economies in rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic," The Associated Press reported Friday. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday the U.S. economy grew 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021, per The Washington Post.

While linking to news that Europe's economy shrank in the first quarter, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweeted Friday, "There was nothing 'inevitable' or 'easy' about the turnaround we've seen in America these 100 days."

MSNBC's Chris Hayes agreed with Klain's assessment, arguing that while the United States "has had one of the worst public health responses to COVID," it has had "among the best fiscal responses in the world," something Hayes said "goes back to last year" before President Biden took office.

The New York Times wrote that Europe's economy shrinking in the first quarter reflected its "far less aggressive stimulus spending and a botched effort to secure vaccines," while also noting that Europe "began the crisis with far more comprehensive social safety net programs" and "limited a surge in unemployment." But CNN writes that Europe's economy is "beginning to show signs of life," with experts anticipating that, as restrictions are relaxed and vaccines continue to roll out, there will be a "strong rebound."