February 10, 2019

Rep. Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.), a one-time supporter of the Iraq War who regretted his vote after attending the 2003 funeral of a Marine killed in action, died Sunday, on his 76th birthday.

Jones broke his hip in a fall, and after suffering complications, entered hospice care in January. His congressional office did not release the cause of death. In November, he was re-elected to his 13th term in office.

Jones initially supported the Iraq War, and after France opposed the invasion, he was behind the push to have House cafeterias call French fries "Freedom Fries," NBC News reports. In 2003, he attended the funeral of a Marine killed in the war, Sgt. Michael Blitz, and he then regretted his vote, Jones told The Associated Press in 2017. Jones wrote a letter of apology to Blitz's family, and went on to write 11,000 more to the relatives of service members who died in the war.

A conservative Christian, he opposed abortion, same-sex marriage, and taxes, and in 2017, was the only Republican in the House to vote against the GOP tax bill, saying it would add too much to the national debt. "He was a public servant who was true to his convictions and who will be missed," Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) said in a statement. Catherine Garcia

2:30 p.m.

Mort Drucker, the beloved artist known for his work at MAD magazine, has died at 91.

Drucker died Wednesday at his home in New York, his friend John Reiner confirmed to The New York Times. Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper his death was not thought to be related to COVID-19.

After joining MAD in 1956, Drucker's hilarious caricatures satirizing pop culture soon became iconic, and he illustrated more than half of the magazine's movie parodies from the 1960s through 2008, per the Times. In a 2000 interview with the Times, he noted, "I think I've drawn almost everyone in Hollywood."

Among Drucker's other notable work includes the poster for George Lucas' American Graffiti; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas personally drove to Drucker's home on Long Island to convince him to draw it.

"The World has lost a not just an extraordinary talent but a shining example of kindness, humility and humor," the National Cartoonists Society said in a statement.

MAD fans on Thursday quickly began sharing their favorite cartoons from Drucker's legendary career, including his parodies of Jaws and Star Wars. "Many of his illustrations are as vivid in my mind as the movies and TV shows that inspired them," The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff wrote.

Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper that Drucker's final words to him were, "I'm the luckiest man — I've had a wonderful life." Brendan Morrow

2:11 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is officially donning a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the jury's still out on whether her husband will follow suit.

In a social media post Thursday, the first lady shared a photo of herself wearing what appears to be a surgical mask, touting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation "to wear cloth face coverings."

"Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing," she wrote. "It is recommended to keep us all safe."

Melania's masking comes one week after President Trump announced he would not be wearing a mask, despite the CDC-issued guidelines urging people to do so. At the time, Trump implied that it would be odd to be "sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk" while wearing a mask, so it's unclear how he's taking this news.

The photo of the first lady appears to show her wearing a surgical mask rather than the CDC-recommended "cloth face covering," the former of which is recommended only for use by health care professionals and medical first responders amid critical supply shortages.