Photo: Lisa Ducret/Getty Images

State and federal health authorities are focusing in on a single chemical as they try to determine the cause of vaping-related illnesses, according to the Washington Post. The compound turned up in marijuana products that patients had used.

Why it matters: Identifying the common chemical gives health officials a potential thread to follow to pinpoint the cause and find the right treatment for a severe pulmonary illness that has killed 2 people and may have afflicted at least 215 more.

Details: The FDA said it did not find anything "unusual" in the nicotine products used by the patients, per the Post.

  • But at least 1 product containing vitamin E acetate has been linked to every patient who provided a sample of their marijuana products. The chemical's oil-like properties "could be associated with the kinds of respiratory symptoms that many patients have reported," per the Post.
  • Vitamin E acetate is not an approved additive for marijuana in New York, state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told the Post, and "as a result, vitamin E acetate is now a key focus,” he said.

Yes, but: Health officials are not yet ruling out contaminants in nicotine vaping products.

  • "Although the discovery of a common chemical in lab tests from the FDA and New York’s highly regarded Wadsworth Center lab offers a potential lead, officials cautioned that they are a long way from understanding what exactly is making so many people sick," the Post notes.

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Justice Department sues Google over alleged search monopoly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Justice Department and 11 states Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to illegally monopolize the online search and search advertising markets.

Why it matters: The long-awaited suit is Washington's first major blow against the tech giants that many on both the right and left argue have grown too large and powerful. Still, this is just step one in what could be a lengthy and messy court battle.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 5 million infections.

In photos: Florida breaks record for in-person early voting

Voters wait in line at John F. Kennedy Public Library in Hialeah, Florida on Oct. 19. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

More Floridians cast early ballots for the 2020 election on Monday than in the first day of in-person early voting in 2016, shattering the previous record by over 50,000 votes, Politico reports.

The big picture: Voters have already cast over 31 million ballots in early voting states as of Tuesday, per the U.S. Elections Project database by Michael McDonald, an elections expert at the University of Florida.