Photo: Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Federal health officials have found vitamin E acetate in the lung fluids of 29 patients diagnosed with a mysterious vaping-related illness, the Centers for Disease Control announced Friday, a "breakthrough" in the search for the culprit of the mysterious disease, the Washington Post writes.

Why it matters: The development further links vitamin E acetate as "a very strong culprit of" the illness, said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the CDC, per the Post. But the agency isn't ruling out other compounds or ingredients as sources for the illness, which has afflicted more than 2,000 people, and killed 39.

  • Officials need to conduct additional testing, Schuchat noted, some of which will be completed on people who vaped and did not become ill.

Of note: Investigators also found THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in 23 of the patients. Most patients who have fallen ill in the outbreak have vaped THC, officials have said.

Flashback: In early September, state and federal health authorities homed in on vitamin E acetate as they tried to determine the cause of vaping-related illnesses. The compound turned up in marijuana products that patients had used.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.

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