Diplomatic Flu Meaning

(idiomatic, politics) An illness feigned by one or more government officials or other public figures as an excuse for an absence really based on political reasons.

Example: 1968, "Closer to Home," Time, 22 Mar.:
  The winner . . . was conservative Charles Griffin, 41, and he carefully avoided the race issue. Avoiding the campaign as well, Griffin stayed home with a case of diplomatic flu while Evers' forces staged a get-out-the-vote campaign.
1988, George Will, "Democratic Double Standard," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11 Apr. (retrieved 31 Nay 2009):
  That is a carom-shot criticism of the administration, which has come down with a case of the diplomatic flu known as international conference-itis.
2007, Chantal Hébert, "Duceppe may bow out after fall campaign," Toronto Star (Canada), 3 Oct. (retrieved 31 May 2009):
  While the Liberals may be considering the scenario of an epidemic of diplomatic flu to save themselves from toppling the minority government, no such virus will decimate Bloc ranks in the event of a confidence vote.